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Campaigning to end on Thursday

Candidates of the ruling UDF and the opposition LDF are locked in a grim electoral battle.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 14:17 IST

With just a day left for the first phase of assembly polls campaigning in Kerala to end, the electioneering has scaled to its crescendo in six southern districts where the candidates of the ruling Congress-led UDF and the opposition CPI (M) controlled LDF are locked in grim electoral battle.

The campaigning in 59 constituencies going to polls on April 22 has assumed hectic pace in the last two days with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and top leaders of BJP, CPI-M and CPI touring the state.

While opinion polls have suggested victory for the LDF, signals from the grass-root level indicate that the UDF was posing a stiff threat to the opposition coalition in most places in the region, especially in Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts.

The LDF is hoping to considerably better its position in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Alappuzha districts, known for their alternate political tilts.

While 'development' is the main plank of the UDF, the LDF has been challenging the claim arguing that only affluent sections have benefited from the programmes and policies of the ruling coalition.

Countering the UDF charge of being 'anti-development, the LDF says it will push an alternative programme of development balanced with social justice for the well-being of all sections of the society.