God`s own country, Kerala will go to the polls on April 10 to elect 20 members to the Lok Sabha.

Supriya Jha

  • God`s own country, Kerala will go to the polls on April 10 to elect 20 members to the Lok Sabha.
  • Kerala has traditionally been ruled by either Congress-led United Democratic Front(UDF) or the CPI-M led Left Democratic Front (LDF).
  • The BJP, which has never ever won a single seat in the southern state, will seek to open its account by cashing in on Modi wave.
  • A total of 269 candidates are in fray for the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies.
  • Kerala`s mainly literate electorate consists of 2,42,51,942 people, out of which 1,25,70,439 are women.
  • For a state where women outnumbering men, the number of women contesting elections has been abysmally low, but this time, a total of 27 women candidates are in the fray.
  • The battle royale in Kerala generally is a contest between UDF and LDF.
  • In last Lok Sabha elections 2009, the Congress-led LDF swept the polls by winning 16 seats, leaving a meagre four for the LDF; however in 2011 Assembly elections, the UDF outperformed the LDF by a very narrow margin of four.
  • Of late, the UDF`s image has taken a beating not just due to scams tarnishing the UPA government at centre but also because CM Oomen Chandy-led government in the state has been on the receiving end of many graft allegations, the major one being - the multi-million rupee Solar Project scam.
  • Kasturirangan report came as another bane for the Congress-led coalition as it proposed restricted farming along the sensitive Western Ghats, that could affect 100 hilly villages.
  • Though, CM Chandy took up the matter with the PM and managed to get a revised report, the CPI (M) won`t spare this chance to attack its rival.
  • The opposition LDF is also not without loopholes.
  • The image of LDF has taken a major beating with the prosecution of three CPI(M) leaders in the murder of party rebel and heavyweight leader TP Chandrasekharan.
  • Adding to the agonies of the CPI (M) was its top popular leader VS Achuthanandan, who voiced support for a CBI probe in Chandrasekharan`s murder on demand of the slain leader`s widow.
  • Also, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which was launched by CPI(M) rebel Chandrasekharan is contesting elections in alliance with Kerala Congress and will fiel candidates on at least five seats.
  • Key constituency of Thiruvananthapuram will see a contest among Union minister Shashi Tharoor from Congress, BJP leader O. Rajagopal, CPI-M`s Bennet Abraham, AAP`s Ajith Joy (a former Indian Police Service).
  • This time, the LDF is supporting six independent candidates from the minority community for the Lok Sabha polls.
  • The inependent candidates include IAS officer Christy Fernandez, actor Innocent and AICC member Philipose Thomas Philipose Thomas who resigned fom Congress.
  • In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the Left had chosen just one non-party candidate, who had lost heavily in the Ponnani constituency.
  • With UDF and LDF both equally in soup over their weaknesses, the 2014 elections might be a cliffhanger between the two coalitions which have been ruling the Malayalis.