Battle lines drawn for Kerala assembly polls

TRIVANDRUM — Kerala’s main political rivals Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) kicked off their campaigns after filing the nominations for assembly polls to be held on April 13.

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Published: Tue 29 Mar 2011, 12:06 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:20 PM

A total of 1,373 candidates have submitted their nominations for the April 13 polls for the 140-seat assembly. The number of nominations this time is 100 more than the number in the 2006 assembly polls.

UDF chief ministerial candidate Oommen Chandy, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala and late leader K Karunakaran’s son K Muraleedharan are among the key contestants in the opposition.

Chandy is seeking re-election from his home turf Puthupally in Kottayam and Chennithala will contest from Haripad in his home district of Aleppey.

Muraleedharan, who was re-admitted to the Congress recently after a five-year gap, has been allotted Vattiyurkkav segment in the state capital.

Scrutiny of nominations would take place on March 29 and the last date for withdrawal is March 30. According to the latest revised electoral list, there are a total of 22,878,767 voters — 11,919,652 women and 10,959,115 men — as compared to the figure of 21,430,061 for the previous elections.

This time, there would be 20,758 polling booths in 11,662 polling locations, officials said. Apart from these polling booths, around 500 auxiliary polling booths also would be there and the details would be announced before the polls, they added.

The LDF, which had a smooth sailing with its coalition partners, appear to be far ahead in the first round of the campaign.

The UDF, which had a tough time with its partners and could only complete its seat sharing two days ago, has stormed the fray after All India Congress Committee gave them two choppers.

However, this has come as a weapon to the LDF, which says the two helicopters pressed into the state for the all India and the state leaders came from graft the UPA leaders received from the 2 G spectrum scam.

Chief Minister V S Achuthandan, who is motoring throughout the state, urged the people to realise the danger of the corruption and defeat the UDF in the elections. “The Congress has money to deploy helicopters in all districts in Kerala. But the people should think where they have got the money from”, he said.

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