Kerala: 2nd phase of civic polls end with 70% voting
Thiruvananthapuram: Barring stray incidents of violence, the local body elections in Kerala, keenly fought between ruling LDF and Opposition Congress-led UDF, concluded on Monday with over 70 per cent turnout in the second phase of polling.
A sub-inspector of police was hacked and hospitalised at Thakazhi in Alappuzha, following a dispute between CPI-M and BJP workers over alleged bogus voting, official sources said.
According to State Election Commission sources, the total statewide percentage could be nearly 75, going by preliminary estimates. In the first phase held on Saturday, 75.33 per cent of electorate exercised their franchise.
Counting of votes would be taken up on Wednesday. Repolling was held in seven booths in the politically volatile Kannur district where polling was marred by violence on Saturday, triggering a war of words between CPI-M and Congress leaders.
In all, elections were held to five city corporations, 59 municipalities, 14 district panchayats, 152 block panchayats and 978 village panchayats.
A total of 21,648 seats were up for grab in the three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions and urban civic bodies, of which 50 per cent were reserved for women.
Seen by political players as a dress rehearsal for the Assembly elections just six months away, both the LDF and UDF had mounted a high-pitched campaign for the local body polls, which in the final phases turned acrimonious with Congress and CPI-M leaders trading charges over the violence during voting.
The third political force in the state, BJP also put up candidates in almost all seats, making the battle a triangular contest.
While LDF put in all efforts to regain the ground it lost in the last Lok Sabha polls, UDF mounted a high-voltage campaign to dent its rivals` supremacy in civic bodies and consolidate the impressive victory it scored in Lok Sabha elections last year.
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