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Civic polls: Campaigning for phase II draws to close

Civic polls: Campaigning for phase II draws to close

Thiruvananthapuram: Campaigning ended Tuesday on a peaceful note in seven districts that will go to polls on November 5 in the second and final phase of the keenly fought local body elections in Kerala, which comes ahead of the assembly polls due next year.

A total of 44,388 candidates are in the fray for 12,651 seats in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram where polling would be held on Thursday.

Two Corporations - Kochi and Thrissur - and 55 municipalities, 576 gram panchayats, 89 block panchayats and seven district panchayats are among the local bodies where voting would be held in the second phase.

The first phase of polls was held on November 2 in Kasargod, Kozhikode, Kannur, Idukki, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad.

Counting of votes will be held on November 7.

The local body elections assume more significance this year as assembly elections are just months away and results would indicate the political trend in the state.

The main battle is between Congress-led ruling UDF, CPI-M headed LDF Opposition and BJP.

The BJP's move to break the bipolar polity in the state, led by Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led LDF, by securing the support of Ezhava outfit Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) also would be tested in this polls.

Through out his campaign, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had maintained that the civic polls would be a referendum of the four-and-a-half year rule of the UDF government and a verdict for continuation of UDF in power.

LDF, which suffered a setback in the recently-held Aruvikkara bypoll, had attacked the government by highlighting graft issues and also the alleged communal agenda of BJP.

The 92-year-old CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan led the campaign for LDF by attending a series of election meetings across the state.

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