Kerala local body elections: 6910 districts, 395 local bodies, 5 districts in the first phase of voting
The first phase of voting for the three-phase elections for decentralized levels of local bodies at village, bloc and district levels in Kerala will be conducted by the Kerala State Election Commission on Tuesday. Elections are being held for panchayats, municipalities and corporations in which 27.1 million voters are eligible to vote in 34,744 polling stations.
Kerala’s three political coalitions: the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPI (M), the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Congress and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ) are in the fray in these polls. The elections are held five months before the crucial assembly elections in Kerala, which are likely to take place in May 2021.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Kerala Local Body Elections:
1. In the first phase of voting on Tuesday, voters from five districts of Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki – will exercise their right to vote. The fate of 24,584 candidates would be sealed during voting from 7 am to 6 pm Up to 11,225 polling places have been installed and webcasting has also been introduced in 320 problem polling places, officials said. The authorities have deployed 56,122 people to the electoral service.
2. In the second phase of the December 10 elections, voters from the Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts will go to the polls. The third and final phase, on December 14, will see voting in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts in North Kerala.
3. Out of 1,200 self-government institutions in Kerala in 14 districts, elections will be held for 1,199 local bodies, including 15,962 districts in 941 village panchayats, 2,080 seats in 152 block panchayats, 331 seats in 14 district panchayats, 3,078 districts in 86 municipalities and 414 districts in six municipal corporations.
4. According to the State Elections Commission, 74,899 candidates will go to the polls, including 38,593 men, 36,305 women and one transgender candidate.
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5. There are 88,26,873 voters in the first phase, including 41,58,395 men, 46,68,267 women, and 61 transgender people. This includes 150 NRIs and 42,530 first-time voters.
5. Elections were originally scheduled for October, as the term of elected representatives in local bodies was due to end on November 12, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, state elections postponed elections until December.
6. In the 2015 polls, of the six corporations, the LDF won in four and two are in the UDF kitty. Currently, the LDF governs most of the municipal and local bodies.
7. The LDF’s main focus during the campaign has been the achievements of the four-and-a-half-year Pinarayi Vijayan government as the party has promoted its social welfare plans and handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But LDF is not in a comfortable position this time in the polls as the UDF and the BJP have questioned the ruling party on controversies related to the gold smuggling case, corruption in the Life Mission project and accusations against the government of Pinarayi Vijayan. . The BJP-led NDA is trying to create a niche in the state, putting hope in various development programs started by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Center.
8. In particular, Kerala has reserved 50% of the seats in local body polls for women.
9. Local body voting is conducted under strict Covid-19 regulations and voters have been asked to disinfect their hands when entering and leaving the polls. To maintain social distance, markers are used and masks are mandatory. Only three voters are allowed inside the booth at a time.
10. Apart from postal ballots, Covid-19 patients can vote after regular voters cast their votes. Included as special voters, they must arrive at the polling station before 6pm. Election officials and agents have been instructed to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) before special voters can enter the polling place.
11. The state electoral commission has said that people treated in government-run hospitals will be transferred to the electoral college by the health department. Special voters living in institutions or households not controlled by the government must come with a PPE kit under their care and the drivers who transport them must also wear a PPE kit.
12. Votes will be counted on December 16.