Kerala set for 2nd phase of polls | india | Hindustan Times
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Kerala set for 2nd phase of polls

Electoral fortunes of VS Achuthanandan and several mid-ranking Congress men will be decided on Saturday.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 18:36 IST

Electoral fortunes of CPI-M politburo member VS Achuthanandan, top Muslim League leaders and several mid-ranking Congress and CPI candidates in Kerala will be decided on Saturday in the second phase of polls covering 66 segments in central and northern districts.

The electoral results of the area, stretching from the state's fast emerging metropolis Kochi to the hills of Wayanad in the north, are quite crucial for both ruling UDF and LDF as the political shifts have played a vital role in the past in deciding which party forms the government.

In 2001, the UDF bagged 50 seats in the region leaving just 16 to the LDF, making inroads even into the latter's northern pockets.

Going by the political changes since then and the campaign trends, the LDF this time has gained a clear edge.

The LDF, especially the lead partner CPI-M, is hopeful of reaping a harvest in Palakkad and Kozhikode districts and enhancing its tally in Ernakulam and Thrissur.

While major UDF ally Muslim League is expected to maintain its upper hand in Malappuram, the LDF will pose stiff challenge to the League in many of its pockets this time.

Even in Wayanad, considered an unassailable Congress fortress where it lifted all the three segments last time, the UDF is facing a stiff challenge.

The region is also the testing ground for the efficacy of the UDF's newfound ally DIC (K) led by K Karunanakaran, whose son K Muraleedharan is sweating it out in Koduvally where a League rebel backed by the LDF is pitted against him.