Thiruvananthapuram: A total of 1,49,649
candidates entered the fray for the multi-tier local body
polls in Kerala as the deadline for filing nominations drew to
The scrutiny of nominations which closed last evening, would
be completed today and the deadline for withdrawal is set for
October 7, a spokesperson for state Election Commission said.
For the first time, 50 per cent of the total 21,612 seats
have been reserved for women in village, block and district
panchyats and municpal councils and city corporations.
Just as any other elections in Kerala, the civic polls
being held in two phases on October 23 and 25, are also fought
on political lines with the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and the
Opposition Congress led UDF being the main contestants.
The local body polls are seen as a "dress-rehearsal" for the
assembly elections due in the state in April-May next year.
The grass-root level face-off is taken by the rival fronts
as an opportunity for political mobilisation and ground-
testing for the larger political battle for early
The LDF, which suffered heavy losses in the Lok Sabha polls
last year, has exuded confidence of regaining the lost ground
thoruhg the civic polls.
The UDF, despite the internal internal bickerings over seat-
sharing, however is trying hard to make it an impressive show
before gearing up for the assembly elections.
The BJP, fighting a lonely battle, has als put up
contestants in a majority of seats.
Though the battle is largely on coalition lines, both
fronts are facing rebel problem in many places across the
state with aggrieved aspirants jumping the fray against the