"13" key number in Kerala polls

Number "13" seems to have a special significance in the poll schedule for electing the 13th Kerala assembly for which voting is scheduled on April 13.

Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 22:38 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Number "13" seems to have
a special significance in the poll schedule for electing the
13th Kerala assembly for which voting is scheduled on April
13.

The counting of votes is to be taken up on May 13, along
with other states going to the polls.
The BJP, however, expressed reservations of the the voting
date, but not on numerical considerations.

According to the party leaders, Kealites are celebrating
Vishu on April 14, their most important festival after Onam.
So many people would find it difficult to reach polling booths
on the eve of Vishu.

The party has written to the Election Commission seeking
change in poll date.
In 2006, the LDF bagged 98 seats and the UDF 42 in
the 140-member house.

But the compositions of the rival coalition have changed
since then with a sections of the JD (S), Kerala Congress and
an independent deserting the LDF. A faction of the INL, which
supported the LDF in 2006, is also set to join the UDF by
merging it with IUML.

Going by its sterling performances in the 2009 Lok Sabha
polls and the civic elections held last year, the UDF has
no reason to worry. But the coalition is faced with, as
observers term,the "problem of plenty," with even minor allies
asking for more.

After finalising the seat-sharing, choosing its contestants
would also be a delicate exercise for the Congress as the
party has to keep regional, religious, caste and even group
balances in its final its list.

Congress leaders, however, exuded confidence that this is
not a big issue as it is not for the first time that the party
is doing this "balancing act" to satisfy all sections
of the society.

That the Congress in Kerala has not been riven by any intense
faction feud, as in the past,is taken as a positive factor by
the leadership.

A distant third always in Kerala`s bipolar polity, the BJP
is putting its best efforts break its electoral jinx this
time, by concentrating on a few select segments where its
popular faces like former Union minister O Rajagopal will be
fielded.

PTI