Kerala Local Body Election Results 2020 LIVE updates: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who voted in the final phase of the election, expressed confidence that the ruling LDF would achieve an impressive victory in the crucial local body polls, considered a curtain raiser for the Assembly elections due next year
Kerala Local Body Election Results 2020 LATEST updates: All eyes are fixed on the results of the crucial Kerala local body polls — considered the semi-final ahead of the Assembly elections due next year —as vote counting is slated to get underway at 8 am today (Wednesday, 16 December).
Overall, polling for a total of 21,893 wards in 1,200 local bodies (panchayats, municipalities and corporations) were held in three phases under strict COVID-19 norms. Electors were asked to sanitise their hands as they entered and exit the polling booths.
Voters, who were COVID-19 positive or those place under quarantine after 3 pm on Wednesday were allowed to cast votes in their respective booths in the evening after other voters had exercised their franchise.
Third phase reports highest polling
Polling for the third and final phase of the local body polls concluded on 14 December with the state election commission reporting an overall turnout of 78.62 percent in the fourth northernmost districts polled.
As per details issued by the SEC, Kozhikode district recorded the highest turnout with 78.98 percent in the final phase, followed by Malappuram (78.86 percent) and Kannur (77.54 percent). Kasaragod recorded the lowest voter turnout with 77.14 percent.
Polls were held in the four districts to elect representatives in 6,867 wards in 354 local bodies, including two Corporations and 31 municipalities.
Among the 10,842 polling stations, 1,105 were identified as sensitive and webcasting facility and special security arrangements were introduced there, State Election Commission(SEC) officials here said.
Elections have been postponed in two wards — Thillankeryward in Kannur district panchayat and Thathoor division in Mavoor Panchayat of Kozhikode — due to the death of candidates.
Brisk polling in second phase
The second phase of the election held on 10 December for two corporations, 36 municipalities, 350 village panchayats, 58 block panchayats and five district panchayats in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts.
The overall polling in the second phase was 76.78 percent with the highest voter turnout being recorded in Wayanad district (79.39 percent) and the lowest in Kottayam with 73.89 percent.
Ernakulam reported 77.02 percent voter turnout, Thrissur 74.92 percent, Palakkad 77.83 percent. The two corporations — Kochi and Thrissur — recorded 61.90 percent and 63.62 percent, respectively.
According to reports, the second phase included a total of 8,116 wards in 451 local bodies in the second phase. Of the total 12,643 polling booths in the second phase, 473 were identified as sensitive and a webcasting facility was arranged there.
A 58-year-old woman fainted while returning after casting her vote for the polls at Wayanad district and later died on the way to the district hospital, officials said. District Special branch Police identified the deceased as Devi of Varinilam Colony at nearby Thrissilleri in Thirunelli panchayat.
Bathery police station ASI Mathew said Senior Civil Police Officer, Karunakaran (45), collapsed and died while on guard duty at an election booth in Assumption School near Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad around 1 pm.
Lowest turnout in first phase
The first phase of polling concluded on 8 December during which voters cast ballots to elect representatives for 6,910 wards in 395 local bodies in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki districts.
The first phase for the southernmost districts recorded a turnout of 73.12 percent.
Two persons had died after casting their votes in the first phase of the polls on Tuesday.
LDF expects iconic victory
As reported earlier, the LDF’s prime focus during the campaign was the achievements under the four-and-half-year old Pinarayi Vijayan government.
Effective disbursal of social welfare pensions, steps taken to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and implementation of various programmes through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Board (KIIFB) and hi-tech school project were among the various initiatives touted as the achievements of the Left government during the campaign.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who voted in the final phase of the election, expressed confidence that the ruling LDF would achieve an impressive victory in the crucial local body polls, considered a curtain raiser for the Assembly elections due next year.
“The Left front is going to achieve an iconic victory in the polls. Those who have voted so far have given us great support,” he told reporters in Kannur.
Earlier, LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan had said that the ruling front was facing the civic polls with confidence and the recent controversies against the government had not dented its image.
The remarkable contributions of the Left government in agriculture, education, health and social welfare and its effective intervention during the time of COVID-19 and floods would help the ruling front win maximum seats, he said.
The Opposition Congress-led UDF focused on the controversies related to the gold smuggling case, the alleged corruption regarding the Life Mission project and the allegations against the Chief Minister’s Office in the campaign.
They also raised during the grassroot-level campaign the arrest and imprisonment of CP(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh in a money laundering and drug case in Bengaluru and the unexpected stepping aside of Balakrishnan as the party state secretary at the threshold of the civic polls.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, Mullappally Ramachandran has said the UDF is facing the civic polls with the slogan ‘a vote against corruption’.
He said the Left government’s multi-level corruption had been exposed and the ruling front was facing stiff opposition from the general public and it would reflect in the civic body polls.
However, the vigilance cases against various UDF leaders and the arrest of its MLAs VK Ibrahim Kunju and MC Kamaruddin in corruption cases were a setback for them while campaigning.
As for the NDA, the election would show whether or not the various development programmes initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre have heled the party find a place in the bipolar polity of led by LDF and UDF for decades.
With inputs from PTI
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