Kerala’s ruling Left staring rout in local bodies polls (Second Lead)

October 27th, 2010 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 27 (IANS) The ruling Left Front in Kerala faced an imminent rout in the local bodies elections as the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) made a remarkable comeback, winning two of the four corporations and notching up substantial gains at the district, block and village levels.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said that the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government should quit after the ruling parties’ rout in these election.

“Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has no moral right to continue in office and at the first opportunity he should quit. He and his party leader Pinarayi Vijayan had said this election would be a performance indicator for the Left government, and it has fallen flat and hence they should go,” Chennithala told reporters here Wednesday evening.

The UDF, which was wiped out in the last polls, has won the Kochi and Thrissur corporations besides making huge gains in the municipalities, district panachayat, block and the gram panchayat levels, for which counting is still on.

In the election to the Thiruvananthapuram corporation, the LDF has won the poll by a margin of just one seat. At the Kollam corporation, the LDF has a fairly good margin.

But Achuthanandan put up a brave face in his hometown Alappuzha, where he saw the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate lose in his ward, and said that the UDF was playing with fire as they had managed a victory after joining hands with communal forces.

Of the 59 municipalities in the state, the UDF is leading in 39 while the LDF is ahead in 18, an official said. The UDF is ahead in eight of 14 districts.

At the block level, out of 152 seats, the LDF is ahead in 59 while the UDF leads in 81. Out of the 978 gram panchayats, the UDF is leading in 511 seats while the LDF is ahead in 360.

These elections brought some cheer for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as for the first time it won six seats in the 100-member Thiruvananthapuram municipal corporation.

The final results of districts, block and gram panchayats are expected late Wednesday.

Counting of votes for the Kozhikode corporation, district, block and gram panchayat would be done Oct 31.

The LDF was in power in 12 of 14 district panchayats, 33 of 53 municipalities, 114 of 152 block panchayats and 688 of 984 gram panchayats.

The local bodies elections were held in two phases Oct 23 and Oct 25. Electronic voting machines were used in corporations and municipalities polls, and ballot papers in the gram, block and district panchayat elections.

CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the ruling front has done well as compared to last year’s Lok Sabha polls.

“Look, we are improving and we will continue to improve and will do well in next year’s assembly polls,” said Vijayan.

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