Left ahead in Kerala civic polls

Sat 07 Nov 2015, 14:05:50

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left opposition on Saturday surged ahead in the Kerala civic polls, while the ruling Congress-led UDF was on the back foot, initial trends showed.

The BJP too made inroads. After two hours of counting, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was leading in 413 gram panchayats. The United Democratic Front was ahead in 328 while the BJP was leading in 33 gram panchayats.

At the block level, the LDF was leading in 93 and the UDF in 56 while at the district panchayat level, the rival fronts lead in seven each.

In the trends available for the municipalities, the LDF was leading in 49 and the UDF in 34. Overall in the 2010 polls, the UDF won 65 percent of the total seats.

Senior CPI-M legislator and former finance minister Thomas Issac said: "This trend is what we expected to happen and we were able to make this surge because we were the only ones to oppose the communalism on politics that the BJP was doing. The Congress was silent on it and was hoping to cash it, but things have worked in

our favour."

Senior UDF leader Antony Raju, however, said: "The results have just started to come in, we will be the eventual winners."

The 2015 polls were held for 21,871 seats in 941 village, 152 blocks and 14 district panchayats besides 86 municipalities and six corporations.

In the 2010 civic polls while the Left won in the Corporation (by winning three out of the five corporations), in the other segments - municipalities, district panchayats, block panchayats and grama panchayats, it was the Congress-led UDF that was far ahead of the Left.

But, on Saturday morning as the voting trends came in, things appeared to be favouring the LDF even at the gram and block panchayaths levels. Both the rival fronts are engaged in a neck-to-neck fight in the district and municipality segments and at the corporation, the LDF and the UDF are leading in three corporations each.

As far as the BJP is concerned, it has been able to make inroads and is likely to make a substantial increase in the total number of seats from the around 500 they had won in 2010.

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