Amidst the Covid pandemic, Kerala is totally geared up for the three tier local body elections as its first phase polling begins on December 8. The first phase will be held in 5 districts – Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki. This will be followed by the second phase on 10th and the final phase on 14th of this month. Counting of votes will take place on December 16.
As active campaigning ended on Sunday evening, candidates are trying to put up a vague picture on voter turnout. However, uncertainty looms large because of the pandemic situation in the state. During the first phase an aggregate 88,26,620 people are expected to cast their votes. The total of 24,584 candidates are contesting for 6813 wards during the first phase. This encompasses 318 Gram panchayats, 50 block panchayats, 2 Corporations, 20 Municipalities and 5 District Panchayats. 11,225 polling stations are set across the five districts.
A triangular contest is witnessed in all the constituencies from among Kerala’s three principal political coalitions – CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Distribution of polling essentials began today. The special postal ballot system for the covid patients had already begun a few days ago. A total of 56,122 personnel have been assigned various responsibilities as part of their election duty. In all 5 districts where the first Phase polling takes place tomorrow only silent campaigns are permitted today as part of the election code of conduct.