Thiruvanthapuram, March 4: As the Election Commission announced the date for elections to the new 140-member Kerala assembly, the stage is set for what many call a “game changer” polls in the southern state. Not only the two traditiol alliances — the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front and the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) — which have domited the political landscape in the southern state since the 1970s, but the BJP-led tiol Democratic Alliance also will fight it out in the poll are.
The Election Commission on Friday announced that polling in Kerala will be held on May 16. Counting of the votes will be taken up on May 19. According to the Election Commission figures, 2.56 crore voters in Kerala are eligible to cast their votes in 21,498 polling booths. Despite opposition accusations of scams and other wrong-doings, the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government is expecting to create history by retaining power. It would be the first ever time that incumbents retain power in Kerala if this happens.
On the other hand, the Left opposition is equally determined to ensure that history repeats itself - that power in Kerala altertes between the Congress and the Left opposition. The BJP on the sidelines yet is claiming that “the lotus will bloom this time” in the southern state.
Hindu Ezhava leader Vellapalli tesan’s newly launched Bharath Dharma Ja Se (BDJS) joined the Bharatiya Jata Party-led NDA on March 3. Should, in the unlikely event, the BJP-led NDA win in Kerala, it would be the first ever time that the saffron party or a Hindutva combine would have come to power in the state that hoisted to office India’s first elected communist government on April 5, 1957.
The BJP has as yet no representative in the state assembly. As things stand now, the Indian Union Muslim League, the second biggest ally of the Congress in the UDF, has announced its candidates list for 20 of the 24 seats it will contest. (IANS)