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Kerala Local Body Polls 2020: Left Front gets upper hand as counting enters crucial phase

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Google Oneindia News

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 16: Despite backlash over gold scam and a fiery campaign against the government in the state, the ruling Left-led coalition in Kerala LDF is ahead of its rivals and appears to be consolidating its position.

The opposition Congress-led UDF, which initially was seen putting up a better show in the first round of counting that began at 8 am, appears to have slightly dimmed, while the hype created by the BJP is yet to catch on.

Kerala Local Body Polls 2020: Left Front gets upper hand as counting enters crucial phase

It was a massive upset for the UDF in the Kochi Corporation as N Venugopal who was seen as the mayor candidate of the Congress lost to the BJP candidate.

Kerala local body elections 2020: What worked for LDF and what didn’t for UDFKerala local body elections 2020: What worked for LDF and what didn’t for UDF

Ironically for the Congress candidate, he lost by just one vote to the BJP. While the CMP faced a big embarrassment in the Thiruvananthapuram corporation, when incumbent mayor K Sreekumar had to bite the dust.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is leading in 402 of 945 Grama Panchayats or village panchayats and the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in 343, making it a tight fight.

The ruling LDF, which used to showcase a good performance in the civic body polls, banked on the achievements in the development front under the four and half years old rule of Pinarayi Vijayan government.

However, opposition UDF, during the campaign, focused on various corruption charges against the government and controversies related to the gold smuggling case and allegations cropped up against the Chief Minister's office.

Left leaders and workers claimed that the "hate campaign" against the CPI(M) through various issues raised by the Opposition Congress and BJP, including the gold smuggling case and other matters, failed to resonate with the people.

"All the hate campaigns against the Left have been proven wrong," senior CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media.

State Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac in a tweet said LDF was heading towards a resounding victory in local body elections.

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    "LDF heading towards a resounding victory in the local body elections. People reject the slander campaign of Congress and BJP and also the machinations of central agencies. It is a vote for left politics and development alternative of Kerala government," Isaac tweeted.

    In 2015, the ruling LDF had nearly swept the civic polls by winning 549 village panchayats, 90 block panchayats, 44 municipalities and four corporations.

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    At the district panchayat level, both UDF and LDF had won seven seats each.

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