The local body elections in Kerala comes to a close as LDF got major victories in all tiers except municipalities, where they trailed by 10. CM Pinarayi Vijayan called the results a victory of the people and a striking answer to central agencies that he claimed earlier were overextending their hand in the state.
This election was held for seats in six municipal corporations, 86 municipalities, 14 district panchayaths, 152 block panchayaths and 941 gram panchayaths.
The polling took place in three stages on December 8, 10 and 14.
The turnout for this year’s local body polls was 76% (1.76% less from 2015) but considering the pandemic situation in the state, it was encouraging — for democracy. However, there was also an increase of more than 25 lakh voters who were eligible to vote for this election.
LDF won 514 gram panchayaths, while Congress-led UDF trailed second with just 375. However, at this level they still lost a significant amount, in 2015 they had 551 gram panchayaths while the UDF increased their tally from 262 and the BJP-led NDA alliance won 9 more from their 14 in the last elections.
LDF’s major gains were in the district and block panchayaths making inroads into UDF’s vote share and winning in some key areas thanks in partly to the Kerala Congress (M) leaving the UDF alliance to join the LDF.
For the block Panchayaths, the LDF won 108 increasing their tally from 88 in the previous election while runners-up UDF only got 44 (62 in the last election). NDA got none.
In 2015, LDF and UDF shared 14 district panchayaths between them for seven each, but this time LDF won 10 leaving UDF with just four.
For municipal corporations LDF won in Kollam, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram while the UDF won in Kannur and is leading in Thrissur and Kochi. The NDA was hoping to win in Thiruvananthapuram, hoping to gain from their 35 in the last election but they came in second with 34 while LDF stood comfortably at the top with 51.
LDF’s greatest setback came in municipalities losing 10 seats from their tally of 45 in the last election. Meanwhile, UDF leads with 45 and NDA gained another municipality standing at 2 now.
Inspite of that drawback, these results likely mean that the LDF’s chances in the next assembly elections coming in four months look promising.
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a constituent of the UDF, national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty said that the party had retained its strongholds but shared that the UDF and the Congress party needed to introspect on the results.
Meanwhile BJP MP KJ Alphons told news agency ANI that the BJP won 1,623 seats in gram panchayats, blocks, zilla panchayats, corporations & municipalities together in Kerala.
“We’ll be in power in 23 Gram Panchayats. Our numbers are equal to other parties in nearly 50 Gram Panchayats. We might come in power there also,” he said.