Kerala: Local bodies’ elections

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.



The results of the 2015 elections to city corporations, municipalities and panchayats in Kerala; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 8, 2015

Kizhakkambalam gram panchayat

The Times of India, November 8, 2015

Shyam PV

First corporate to fight polls sweeps Kerala panchayat

A corporate group opened its account in an election in India for the first time when its political avatar, named Twenty20, breezed into power in Kizhakkambalam gram panchayat in Kerala, winning 17 of the 19 seats.Congress and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) won the other two seats while the Left drew a blank.

Twenty20 became popular in Kizhakkambalam, a village 22km from Ernakulam, after Kitex Group, a textile major with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore invested around Rs 28 crore in two years to usher in development in the panchayat and emerge as a credible political alternative.

“The Left and UDF have been ruling the gram pan chayat till now. However, they have done nothing. Kitex Group gives us groceries at half-price. They built 458 houses and over 600 toilets for the poor, repaired roads, conducted medical check-ups and sponsored surgeries. Under the leadership of Sabu M Jacob (MD of Kitex), we selected our candidates and carried out a phased campaign.The results speak for themselves,“ said Biju Athanipparambil, an auto driver and

Twenty20 executive member. Twenty20 candidates fielded by the Kitex Group contested against LDF, UDF, BJP, SDPI and independent candidates. According to figures released by the district administration, an unprecedented 90.5% of 24,300-odd voters turned up at the booths to cast their votes. In the 2010 elections, the turnout was 84%.


LDF wins 13 out of 20 seats in by-elections

LDF wins 13 out of 20 seats in byelections, October 13, 2018: The Times of India

LDF improved its tally by winning one extra seat in the byelection held to 20 local body ward seats.

LDF clinched 13 seats, while the UDF won six and an independent candidate emerged winner in one seat in Idukki district. The BJP, which had no representation in any of the 20 wards, wrested one seat (Navaikulam) from the UDF. The seat position prior to the election was LDF 11, UDF 7 and 2 others. LDF wrested Thrikkunnapuzha (north) and Kolachery (Kannur) wards from the UDF and LDF lost Kambamcode and Thainagar ward to UDF.

Elections were held in 16 grama panchayat wards in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur districts and one block panchayat ward each in Malappuram and Kannur and one municipality ward each in Wayanad and Kannur districts.


LDF wins

December 17, 2020: The Times of India

Left sweeps local body polls in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After months of campaign by the United Democratic Front (UDF) and BJP almost destroyed the goodwill that the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s Covid-19 response had generated, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala registered a resounding win in the three-phase local body polls whose results were announced on Wednesday.

The LDF won the majority of district panchayats, block panchayats, gram panchayats and municipal corporations. The only consolation for the UDF was the slight upper hand it gained in municipalities. Though the BJP improved its tally from 2015, the party could not reach anywhere close to its ambitious plans. The LDF won in 10 district panchayats against seven in 2015. Four out of the six corporations are also set to welcome LDF councils. The lion’s share of block panchayats, 108 out of 152, was also grabbed by LDF. It also won 514 of the 941 gram panchayats. UDF which won 375 gram panchayats is set to form the ruling council in 45 of 86 municipalities. LDF won 35 municipalities while NDA won two. The NDA also netted 23 gram panchayats apart from retaining its position as the main opposition in the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation.

Political observers see the victory as a personal vindication for chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan who had to face serious allegations related to the gold smuggling scam and the Life Mission housing scam, which the UDF and the BJP had levelled.

The CM’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar and additional private secretary C M Raveendran are allegedly involved in these cases, but the CPM leadership was confident that initiatives launched by the government in the last four-and-a-half years that combined development and welfare would be all that mattered to voters. The results seem to have proved them right.

“This is a victory of the people. The victory of all who have pledged to stay united. This result is a reply to those who are trying to demolish Kerala and its achievements,” said Pinarayi. “The UDF has become insignificant while the BJP’s tall claims have fallen flat,” he told reporters after the results were announced.

Among the factors that fuelled the LDF surge is the consolidation of minority votes across the state. The gamble of allying with the Kerala Congress (M) faction led by Jose K Mani also strengthened the bond between the LDF and the minorities. The wins scored by the LDF in Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts are partly due to the entry of the Jose K Mani faction.

The decision to introduce economic reservation in jobs and educational institutions is believed to have stalled the shift of upper caste Hindu voters to the BJP camp. The establishment of Sree Narayana Open University and the installation of a Sree Narayana statue in the capital city were sops for the Ezhava community, the traditional vote bank of CPM and CPI.

The CM referred to anti-incumbency and observed that it was not easy or common for a ruling front to register such a win after years in office. Many local body institutions had to face double anti-incumbency — against the ruling council and the government — but they ended up winning. “Our government has already implemented 570 out of 600 promises made in our manifesto. Several other projects were also launched. All these actions are valued by the people,” said Pinarayi. He also recalled crises like the 2018 floods, Nipah and Covid-19 and how the state fought them in a united fashion.

With assembly elections on the threshold, the LDF is viewing the results as a message to carry out the good work and ensure continuance in office, while the result has come as a shocker to the UDF.



Nov 11, 2022: The Times of India

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) emerged on top in Kerala local body byelections, winning 15 of the 29 wards where polls were held. Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 12 wards while the BJP managed to bag two.

UDF gained nine wards, of which it wrested seven from LDF and two from BJP, while the LDF dislodged the UDF from two wards. One of the wards secured by BJP was previously held by LDF.

The byelections were held in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad.

In the local body polls of 2020, LDF had secured a majority in gram panchayats, corporations and district panchayats, while UDF had triumphed in 45 of the 86 municipalities. In Mattannur municipal elections held at Kannur in August this year, the UDF had won 14 out of 35 wards, doubling its tally from seven in the previous elections.

Buoyed by the results, opposition leader VD Satheesan said it was a befitting reply to LDF that had become blind with arrogance after winning a second term in the state polls. 

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