Civic polls campaign picks up in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 25: Campaign for the crucial civic polls scheduled for next month in Kerala, the result of which would indicate the trend for the next year's Assembly polls, has hotted up with leaders of political parties hitting campaign trial.

The move of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an organisation for Ezhava community, led by its General Secretary Vellapally Natesan to join hands with BJP has emerged as a main poll debate with Congress and CPI-M questioning the tie-up. Cooperation with SNDP was seen as the success mission of BJP President Amit Shaha who visited the state about five times in the last one year.


For the ruling UDF, opposition LDF and BJP, the polls, to be held in two phases on November 2 and 5, are significant as it would indicate their respective influence among the svoters ahead of next year's Assembly polls. Polls would be held to seven corporations, 86 municipalities, 941 grama panchayats, 152 block panchayats and 14 district panchayats.

The 92-year-old CPI-M veteran and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan continue to be the star crowd puller for LDF and is criss-crossing the state seeking votes by attending series of rallies and public meetings. Former Defence Minister and CWC member A K Antony is scheduled to start campaign for the UDF this week along with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC President V M Sudheeran.

BJP, which so far failed to win in Assembly and Parliament polls in the state, is in a full steam with its new found friend with SNDP and hope that they would be able to break the bi-polar politics of the state led by UDF and LDF.

A debate is raging in BJP over bringing back former party veteran P P Mukundan to the state leadership. Mukundan, considered to be party strongman who played a vital role in the growth of BJP in the state, was sidelined for the last few years after his relationship with the state leadership worsened.

Though party state President V Muraleedharan tried to put a lid to the row saying Mukundan could become a member by making a 'missed call' to the party's dedicated line, his remark complicated the issue with some BJP state leaders coming out against him for making such a statement.


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