Thiruvananthapuram: Over 70 percent voting was recorded in local bodies elections in
seven districts of Kerala Monday, officials said. Polling passed
off mostly peacefully, barring skirmishes reported from a few
According to preliminary figures
released by the State Election Commission, the poll percentage has
crossed 70 percent, up from 62.71 percent in these districts in
last edition of the polls in 2005.
In the first phase of the elections Oct 23 in seven districts,
75.33 percent voting was recorded.
Counting will be held Wednesday with Kerala set to become India's
first state to see women heading 50 percent (605) of the total
1,208 local bodies.
These include 489 gram panchayats, 76 block panchayats, seven
district panchayats, 30 municipalities and three corporations in
A State Election Commission spokesperson told IANS that the total
seats for which polls was held was 21,612 and of these, 11,135
seats are kept for women.
"Of these, 8,613 seats would be the grama panchayats, 1,051 in
block panchayats, 169 district panchayats, 1,121 in municipalities
and 181 in the five corporations. The general rule is that in a
panchayat if the total number of members is an odd number, then
the total number of women would be one more than the men," the
A total of 70,915 candidates were in the fray. Electronic voting
machines (EVMs) were being used only in corporations and
municipalities, while traditional ballot papers are being used in
the gram, block and district panchayats.
Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who cast his vote in his
hometown in Punnapara in Alapuzha district, said the verdict would
be in favour of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
On the other hand, Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy, after he
voted in his hometown Puthupally in Kottayam district, said the
Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) was sure to win.
The local bodies elections were last held in 2005 and since then
all the five corporations in the state are being governed by the
LDF, which is also in power in 11 of the 14 district panchayats,
33 of 53 municipalities, 114 of 152 block panchayats and 688 out
of 984 gram panchayats as well.
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