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Kerala heads in to Assembly elections with tight security arrangements, live monitoring of 50 pc polling stations

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2021 06:58 IST


Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], April 6 (ANI): Elections to choose members of the 140-seat Kerala Legislative Assembly commences in the state on Tuesday with a three-cornered fight between the incumbent Left Democratic Front (LDF) which hopes for continuity of term, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
A total of 2.74 crore voters are set to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 957 candidates in the fray. Voting will start at 7 am and end at 6 pm.
According to Election Commission,the total electorate in the state includes 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgenders. These include 87,318 expatriate men, 6,086 women and 11 transgender people.
Security arrangements have tightened as Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and local police have been get deployed in the state. Further, live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50 per cent of polling stations will also take place.
Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) along with the local police force have been deployed to ensure a peaceful, intimidation free and conducive atmosphere for the smooth conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive and accessible manner.
Route marches in vulnerable pockets, regular point patrolling and other Confidence Building Measures were carried out to reassure voters, especially those belonging to the weaker sections of society. Force deployment in the Assembly segments has been done under the supervision of the Central Observers deputed by the Commission.
As a major push for conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50 per cent of Polling Stations (20441) including critical and vulnerable polling booths has been put in place as per ECI norms, to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas. The Commission, the CEO, DEOs, and Observers can watch live streaming and keep a close watch on these polling booths.
Following this, the Election Commission issued a series of tweets. EC tweeted, "Preparations for polls in the state tomorrow on in full swing-Distribution Centre Ernakulam."
Kannur will carry out 100 pc voting via webcasting. "First district with 100 per cent webcasting from 3137 polling booths. #keralaassemblyelection2021 #KeralaElections #ElectionCommission #Kannur," read the tweet.

In the contest is the ruling LDF which comprises CPI(M), CPI, Kerala Congress(M) and other smaller parties whereas UDF consists of the Indian National Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party and other smaller parties.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bharath Dharma Jana Sena are the main constituents of the NDA. The LDF consists of CPI(M), CPI, Kerala Congress(M) and other smaller parties whereas UDF consists of the Indian National Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party and other smaller parties. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bharath Dharma Jana Sena are the main constituents of the NDA.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is contesting from Kannur's Dharmadam. This is the second time he is contesting from Dharmadam. In 1996, he contested from Payyanur constituency.
Vijayan was elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1970, 1977 and 1991, from Kuthuparamba constituency.
In Kannur's Dharmadam he is contesting against Kannur District Congress Committee (DCC) General Secretary C Raghunath, Congress candidate and CK Padmanabhan for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former head of Party in Kerala.
In the first instance of a BJP leader contesting from two constituencies in Kerala, BJP state president K Surendran is contesting from two assembly constituencies -- Manjeshwar, where he lost by just 89 votes in 2016 and Konni, where he has pinned his hopes as the Sabarimala protest took its fiercest form here.
Chennithala, the leader of opposition in Kerala is contesting from Haripad where he is facing LDF's R Sajilal (CPI) and former BJP district president K Soman while former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, a 11-time winner from the Puthuppally constituency will face polls from the same Puthapally where he is pitted against LDF's Jaick C Thomas and BJP's N Hari.
Another high profile constituency in the state is the Palakkad Assembly constituency where BJP has fielded metro man, E Sreedharan, a recent entrant into the party. Sreedharan has been fielded against the sitting MLA Shafi Parambil, who is contesting as the Congress candidate, and CPI-M has given the ticket to CP Pramod.
Other key candidates are Minister of Health KK Shailaja contesting from Mattanur, Former CM Oommen Chandy contesting from Puthuppally, Minister for Water Resources K Krishnankutty from Chittur, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan from Kanhangad.
Counting of votes will be held on May 2 (ANI)

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