Kerala local body polls on October 23, 25

Elections to 14 local bodies in Kerala would be held in two phases on October 23 and 25, the State Election Commission said Tuesday.

Thiruvananthapuram: Elections to 14 local
bodies in Kerala would be held in two phases on October 23 and
25, the State Election Commission said Tuesday.

As per the schedule, elections to civic bodies in
Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanthitta, Kozhikode, Waynad,
Kannur and Kasargod will be held on October 23 and in Idukki,
Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and
Malappuram on October 25, State Election Commissioner P
Kamalkutty told reporters here.

Counting would take place on October 27 and new
councils would assume charge on November 1, which marks Kerala
Formation Day.

There are 98 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14
district panchayats, 59 Municipalities and five Corporations
in
Kerala.

The SEC said nearly 40,000 polling booths would be in
place to facilitate the exercise of franchise by nearly 2.25
lakh voters.

Kamalkutty said more than 8,000 Electronic Voting
Machines would be used in Municipalities and Corporations,
while ballot boxes would be used in three-tier panchayats.

A meeting of recognised political parties has been
called on September 16 to discuss issues connected with the
polls and the model code of conduct, which would come into
effect immediately, he said.

The code would, for the first time, include a
provision that any campaigning by state, central and local
body employees directly or indirectly would be considered a
violation of the code, he said.

Instructions have already been issued that places of
worship should not be used for any kind of poll campaign, he
said.

Asked if reading out of pastoral letters in churches
could be considered a violation of the model code, he said the
Church has the right to do so, but not ask their followers to
vote for a particular candidate.

This election in Kerala is seen as a virtual
semi-final contest between the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF and
Congress-led UDF Opposition in the run up to the assembly
elections in May this year.

PTI

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