Assembly polls: Battle lines drawn in Kerala

Kerala Map
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 23: Battlelines have been drawn in Kerala for the Arp 13 Assembly polls with Congress, the main partner in UDF, also announcing its list of candidates in 81 constituencies it is contesting in the 140-member House.

CPI-M headed LDF is way ahead in their campaign as the Front had already begun its first round of campaign after deciding the candidates and publishing the Front's manifesto last week.

Posters and flex boards with pictures of LDF candidates have been put up in all the constituencies while the UDF's election work is yet to start.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan and star campaigner for LDF has already hit the campaign trail from Malampuzha in Palakkad district, from where he is contesting.

The 87-year old CPI(M) veteran is getting enthusiastic reception in all the centres in the northern districts, CPI(M)'s stronghold.

With the announcement of the Congress list of candidates, the UDF campaign is expected to pick up in the coming days as uncertainty over seat-sharing of the Front partners has been settled.Congress has come up with quite a few surprises in its selection of candidates by naming several new faces including seven women.

Opposition leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will contest from his traditional seat of Puthupalli in Kottayam district while KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala from Haripad in Alappuzha.

K Muraleedharan, former KPCC President and son of late K Karunakaran, who was taken back in the party after six years of suspension, was given ticket to contest from Vattiyurkavu in the state capital.

However, his younger sister Padmaja Venugopal, who was also an aspirant, has been denied seat this time, with an explanation that her services would be used for party activities. Congress has nominated Lathika Subhash, a Mahila congress leader, against Achuthanandan.

All the 23 sitting MLAs have been renominated to contest from their respective sitting seats, though some segments have been renamed after delimitation.


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