Kerala: Delayed local body elections to be held in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14

Thiruvananthapuram, November 6, 2020

The delayed local bodies elections in Kerala will be held in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14, said a senior official on Friday.

If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the newly elected civic bodies had to be in office by November 11.

Addressing the media here, State Election Commissioner V. Bhaskaran said the polls would be held according to COVID protocols.

"Elections would be held to 1,199 local bodies which include 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and six corporations. The time of polling would be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.," said Bhaskaran.

He said that all the electronic voting machines will be ready by November 10.

Five districts -- Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki -- will go to the polls on December 8.

On December 10 voters in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad will exercise their franchise while Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargode will vote on December 14.

Counting of votes will take place on December 16.

The total electorate stands at 2,71,20,823 which includes 1,29,25,766 males, 1,41,94,825 females and 232 transgenders.

"All the newly elected local bodies will have to assume office before December 25. Postal votes will be allowed for all those who are COVID-positive and under quarantine. All such people will have to apply three days before polling," Bhaskaran said.

"Options are also being considered about what happens to those who turn Covid positive two days before polling. Health authorities have said they will be able to provide PPE kits to such people, but nothing has been decided on that," he said.

Meanwhile, welcoming the poll announcement, the three rival fronts have expressed confidence that they will win.

Left Front convener A. Vijayaraghavan said they have nothing to worry about as they have the confidence of the people who have benefited under the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

State BJP president K. Surendran said it was now just a question of time before the BJP emerges as the biggest gainer when the counting of votes is over.

Congress-led UDF convener M. M. Hassan said the Vijayan government is completely swamped under various scams and corruption scandals and people are just waiting to vent their ire against this government.

IANS

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