Assembly polls in Kerala to be held on April 6, counting on May 2


New Delhi: The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.

For Assembly poll 2021, the number of polling booths in Kerala has been extended from 21,498 to 40,771. The counting of votes will be held on May 2.

According to the commission, of the 140 Assembly seats, 14 seats are reserved for SC category and two are reserved for ST category candidates.

With this, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The tenure of the Kerala legislative assembly will come to an end on June 1, 2021.

In the 2016 Kerala assembly election, the CPI(M)-led Left Front bagged 91 seats in 140-member Assembly. The BJP could only win from the Nemom constituency. CPI(M)’s Pinrayi Vijayan is the current Chief Minister of Kerala and he is hoping to return to power after the polls.

In the 2019 general elections, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) coalition has registered a remarkable victory with wins in 19 out of the 20 parliamentary constituencies. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is spearheading the campaign for Assembly polls 2021 is Lok Sabha MP from Waynad.

Political parties including the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and other parties have started campaigning even before the date of the poll.

There are two front which is contesting the election are– United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Congress and comprising like-minded parties and Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by CPM-M comprising up of left and like-minded parties

A faction in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a constituent in the ruling LDF has decided to part ways with the CPI(M)-led alliance and join the Congress-led front.

Ahead of the Kerala election 2021, ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan joined the BJP. Sreedharan has also expressed his wish to become the Chief Minister of Kerala if BJP comes to power in the state. “If BJP comes to power in Kerala, I am ready to become the chief minister. The party has not asked me till now as it is too premature. But if BJP asks me, I am willing to take up the post and show how a state can be run efficiently like we are running DMRC,” Sreedharan had told ANI earlier.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently flagged off Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Vijaya Yatra from Kasaragod, Kerala in presence of state party president K Surendran. A host of BJP national leaders will visit Kerala to partake in the Vijaya Yatra rally in various districts which includes – Union Minister Gen VK Singh, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister Smriti Irani among others. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be present at the concluding session of the rally on March 7 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Among the issues which will likely to gain space in the campaign are the Kerala Gold smuggling case, the alleged backdoor appointment made by Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.

The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020. It is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), NIA and Customs department.

The opposition leader had Ramesh Chennithala alleged that maximum illegal appointments were carried out in the IT department, a portfolio handled by the Chief Minister himself. The Congress and the United Democratic Front have been attacking the state government over the protest of Public Service Commission rank holders in Thiruvananthapuram.

After the Bihar assembly elections, which were held in November 2020, elections to Tamil Nadu along with three other states and Puducherry will also be held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Election Commission has issued a protocol for voting. All poll officials will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before elections for five assemblies polls, the commission said.

Central Armed Police Forces would be deployed and also special observers from other states would be nominated for monitoring the expenses during the assembly election. (ANI)