Explained: Why this year’s Kerala civic body elections matter
Counting of votes polled in the crucial local body elections is underway as the traditional political fronts -- Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress headed United Democratic Front (UDF) and Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, sat with their bated breath for the results.
As per early trends, the LDF is leading in 403 of the 941 gram panchayats, followed by UDF with 341. In district panchayat as well, the LDF has clear lead of 11 seats while UDF trails with three. In municipality, the UDF and LDF are fighting a close battle. The UDF is leading 39 while LDF is just one seat behind (38).
With all Covid-19 protocols in place, the counting of votes of Kerala local body elections started at 8 am on Wednesday. The final results are expected by 1 pm.
Here is what these elections mean for the political parties in Kerala ahead of Assembly election
- The local civic body elections are generally seen as pointer to the upcoming Assembly election. The results of the civic body polls will give a peak to the voters’ mood as the LDF looks for re-election.
- With good cadre and grassroots reach, usually LDF enjoys edge in local body elections. However, this year, this looks difficult as the state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan came under fire for the high-profile gold smuggling scandal. One of its ministers is also being questioned by central agencies.
- Ground reports suggest some of the early advantages and track records of the ruling LDF are overshadowed by sensational cases including corruption cases, narcotics and the controversial Kerala Police Act.
- BJP-led NDA, which was looking for all means to break the decades-old bipolar polity led by UDF and LDF, is hopeful of improving its seat tally compared to the 2015 civic polls.
(With agency inputs)