Lok Sabha elections 2019: Here is all you need to know about Kerala
The Lok Sabha elections will be held in 7 phases starting April 11. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
The Lok Sabha elections 2019 will see the BJP trying to widen its political footprint in Kerala, the state which largely witnesses a two-cornered contest between the Left Democratic Front and the Congress-led United Democratic Front.
The Sangh Parivar, which has gained a foothold in the state over the years, has been raising a number of issues, including a demand for a ban on beef consumption and cow slaughter, so-called Love Jihad, and more recently the Sabarimala controversy to shore up its chances in the coastal state.
The support to the Sabarimala issue by the RSS, which runs over 5,000 shakhas, the highest in the country, has found resonance even with those who are traditionally not supporters of the saffron ideology. The violence after the Supreme Court’s September 2018 order allowing women of all ages into the hilltop shrine was projected by the RSS as being the work of the “godless” CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front against Hindus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has already visited the state twice in January, has slammed the left front government over the Sabarimala issue and warned the CPI(M) that it will face a Tripura-like situation if it continued to antagonise people. MA Baby, former state minister and CPI(M) politburo member, said the “well-informed and progressive people” of Kerala will see through the BJP’s plan.
Here’s all you need to know about the state ahead of the Lok Sabha polls:
Polling dates: April 23
Date of counting: May 23
Ruling party/coalition in the state: CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front
Number of Lok Sabha seats in the state: 20
Party wise break-up of the Lok Sabha seats: UDF 12, LDF 8
UDF: Congress 8, Muslim League 2, RSP 1, Kerala Congress (Mani) 1
LDF: CPI(M) 7, CPI 1
Number of voters in the state: 2,54,08711 (Male 12297403, Female 13111189, Transgender 119 (As on January 31, 2019)
Voter turnout in 2014: 73.6%
Number of assembly seats: 140
Party wise break-up of assembly seats: LDF 91, UDF 47 & BJP one.
CPI(M) 58, CPI 19, JD(S) 3, NCP 2, CPI(M)-backed Independents 5, Kerala Congress (B) one, CMP one, Nationalist Congress 1, RSP one
Congress 22, Muslim League 18, Kerala Congress (Mani) 6, Kerala Congress (Jacob) 1, BJP one
Key leaders: Oommen Chandy, AK Antony (Congress), VS Achuthanandan CPI(M), Pinarayi Vijayan (CPI-M)
Sabarimala temple imbroglio is expected to be a key issue with the BJP keen on cashing in on it.
Political murders have seen a spurt in recent years and are a key issue.
Flood and its after-effects and recovery efforts
Farmers’ suicides and farm distress