Polling to take place in Kerala on Tuesday; UDF, LDF and NDA in triangular contest

The counting of votes will be done on May 2. As many as 957 candidates are contesting on the 140 seats while 2.74 crore voters will cast their votes.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 05, 2021 10:47 PM IST
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressing a rally at Kochi.(Twitter/@vijayanpinarayi)

Polling for 140-seat single-phased Kerala assembly election will take place on Tuesday (April 6) as the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), aims to defend its reign against the arch rival Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). Also, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is trying to emerge as the alternative to the two fronts.

The counting of votes will be done on May 2. As many as 957 candidates, including independents, are contesting on the 140 seats while 2.74 crore voters, comprising 13,283,724 male voters, 14,162,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, will cast their votes, news agency PTI reported citing data from the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Also read | Polling in 4 states, Puducherry on Tuesday; heavy security arrangements in place

As far as security arrangements are concerned, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said that the state has been divided into special security zones and 59,292 police personnel have been deployed on the polling day. Also, a drone system would be used to detect crowds and obstruction of voters, Behra said.

Campaigning for the election concluded on Sunday (April 4) as top brass from all the major parties rallied across the state seeking support for their candidates in the past weeks. BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, visited the state and held many rallies and roadshows across many districts.

The Congress too fielded its popular leaders for campaigning. Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor, Congress MPs from Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, along with party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, addressed many public meetings and rallies.

In Kerala, which has a history of electing the UDF and the LDF alternatively, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan of the CPI(M) is trying to break the streak. Vijayan is contesting from the Dharmadam assembly constituency against Congress’ C Raghunath and CK Padmanabhan of the BJP.

Click here to read the complete coverage of elections

The BJP’s state president K Surendran is contesting from two seats for the first time - Manjeshwar (which he lost in 2016) and Konni. However, the party expects a boost to its winning prospects by the joining of ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, who is contesting from Palakkad.

Former Congress chief minister and 11-time winner from the Puthuppally constituency Oommen Chandy is again contesting from the same seat. Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress is contesting from the Haripad constituency, which he won in the 2011 and 2016 elections.

During the campaign, the Sabarimala temple issue and the gold smuggling case in Kerala became the favourite weapon for both the Congress and the BJP to target the ruling LDF coalition. However, the LDF is banking on the popularity of CM Vijayan’s image to win their consecutive second term in the state.

Polling for 140-seat single-phased Kerala assembly election will take place on Tuesday (April 6) as the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), aims to defend its reign against the arch rival Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). Also, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is trying to emerge as the alternative to the two fronts.

The counting of votes will be done on May 2. As many as 957 candidates, including independents, are contesting on the 140 seats while 2.74 crore voters, comprising 13,283,724 male voters, 14,162,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, will cast their votes, news agency PTI reported citing data from the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Also read | Polling in 4 states, Puducherry on Tuesday; heavy security arrangements in place

As far as security arrangements are concerned, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said that the state has been divided into special security zones and 59,292 police personnel have been deployed on the polling day. Also, a drone system would be used to detect crowds and obstruction of voters, Behra said.

Campaigning for the election concluded on Sunday (April 4) as top brass from all the major parties rallied across the state seeking support for their candidates in the past weeks. BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, visited the state and held many rallies and roadshows across many districts.

The Congress too fielded its popular leaders for campaigning. Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor, Congress MPs from Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, along with party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, addressed many public meetings and rallies.

In Kerala, which has a history of electing the UDF and the LDF alternatively, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan of the CPI(M) is trying to break the streak. Vijayan is contesting from the Dharmadam assembly constituency against Congress’ C Raghunath and CK Padmanabhan of the BJP.

Click here to read the complete coverage of elections

The BJP’s state president K Surendran is contesting from two seats for the first time - Manjeshwar (which he lost in 2016) and Konni. However, the party expects a boost to its winning prospects by the joining of ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, who is contesting from Palakkad.

Former Congress chief minister and 11-time winner from the Puthuppally constituency Oommen Chandy is again contesting from the same seat. Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress is contesting from the Haripad constituency, which he won in the 2011 and 2016 elections.

During the campaign, the Sabarimala temple issue and the gold smuggling case in Kerala became the favourite weapon for both the Congress and the BJP to target the ruling LDF coalition. However, the LDF is banking on the popularity of CM Vijayan’s image to win their consecutive second term in the state.

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