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Opinion

Explained: Why are this year’s Kerala civic body polls important?

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The counting of votes in crucial elections of local bodies is underway as traditional political fronts: the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led the Democratic Left Front (LDF), Congress led the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Alliance National Democratic Party, sat down with their breath held by the results.

According to the first trends, the LDF is in the lead in 403 of the 941 gram panchayats, followed by UDF with 341. In the district panchayat as well, the LDF has a clear advantage of 11 seats while the UDF follows with three. In the municipality, the UDF and LDF fight a close battle. The UDF is in the lead 39, while the LDF is only one seat behind (38).

With all Covid-19 protocols in place, the vote counting of the Kerala local body elections started at 8am on Wednesday. Final results are expected at 1pm.

Here’s what these elections mean for political parties in Kerala ahead of the Assembly elections

– Elections of the local civic body are generally considered an indicator of the next elections to the Assembly. The results of the civic body polls will spike the mood of voters as the LDF seeks re-election.

– With a good level of cadres and grassroots, the LDF usually has an advantage in the elections of local bodies. However, this year, this seems difficult as the state’s chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, came under fire for the high-profile gold smuggling scandal. One of his ministers is also being questioned by central agencies.

– Reports from the field suggest that some of the early strengths and antecedents of the ruling LDF are overshadowed by sensational cases including corruption, narcotics and the controversial Kerala Police Law.

– The BJP-led NDA, which sought all means to break the bipolar policy led by the UDF and LDF, is hoping to improve its seat count compared to the 2015 civic polls.

(With contributions from the agency)

Hindustan Times

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