Congress front drubs ruling LDF in Kerala civic polls

Congress front drubs ruling LDF in Kerala civic polls

Kochi: The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala was drubbed by the Congress-led state alliance in the local civic body elections, with just a few months to go for assembly polls in the state.

Elections to city corporations and municipalities as well as to rural village, block and district panchayats were held on Saturday and Monday. The results were announced on Wednesday.

LDF, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, conceded two of five municipal corporations—Kochi and Thrissur—to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). It won in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.

Counting of votes in the Kozhikode city corporation will be taken up on Sunday as election was deferred in a block division.

Of the 57 municipalities for which results were announced, the UDF won in 39 and the LDF in 18.

In rural areas, the UDF won in 580 of 991 village panchayats, the LDF in 361 (from 650 previously), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 10. Counting was still on in the remaining village panchayats.

In block panchayats, the UDF won in 79 places and the LDF in 60. In district panchayats, UDF won eight and LDF, five.

This is the first election in the state with 50% of the seats reserved for women. The CPM had banked on the active participation in Kudumbasree, a government-run poverty eradication programme it had launched for women.

To counter this, the Congress launched Janasree, a non-governmental organization for women, last year.

Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of the CPM, said the LDF performed better than in the Lok Sabha elections, held in April-May 2009. The LDF won in just four of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Ramesh Chenithala, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president, said the results were a vote against the “non-performance of the government".