Trends show LDF ahead in civic polls in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 16 (PTI) With counting of votes for local body polls in Kerala underway on Wednesday, early trends showed that the ruling CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front was leading in 520 of the total of 941 panchayats.

The LDF was also leading in 10 out of the 14 district panchayats and 108 block panchayats of the total of 152, according to the State Election Commission figures.

The Congress led UDF was ahead in four district panchayats.

Out of the six corporations in the state, the LDF and the UDF were leading in three each.

BJP is ahead in 26 panchayats.

A total of 21,893 wards in 1,200 local self-governing bodies, including six corporations, 941 village panchayats, 14 district panchayats and 87 municipalities went to the polls in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14.

The first phase saw 73.12 per cent turnout, the second phase 76.78 and the third and final phase, 78.64 per cent.

Left leaders and workers claimed that the 'hate campaign' against the CPI(M) through various issues raised by the Opposition Congress and BJP, including the gold smuggling case and other matters, failed to resonate with the people.

'All the hate campaigns against the Left have been proven wrong,' senior CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media.

State Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac in a tweet said LDF was heading towards a resounding victory in local body elections.

'LDF heading towards a resounding victory in the local body elections.

People reject the slander campaign of Congress and BJP and also the machinations of central agencies.It is a vote for left politics and development alternative of Kerala government,' Isaac tweeted.

In 2015, the ruling LDF had nearly swept the civic polls by winning 549 village panchayats, 90 block panchayats, 44 municipalities and four corporations.

At the district panchayat level, both UDF and LDF had won seven seats each. PTI RRT APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH