Kerala set for polls today
Thiruvananthapuram: After weeks-long stormy campaign sessions, marathon rallies and mammoth road shows, Kerala is all set to go to polls on Tuesday with 2.74 crore voters exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 957 candidates including high-profile leaders and independents in 140 Assembly constituencies across the state.
The total electorate in the state includes 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, according to Election Commission figures.
As the high-octane public campaign drew to a close last night, the southern state is now witnessing silent electioneering in which candidates and party workers are busy visiting homes and institutions to seek votes at the last minute.
An array of ministers and several sitting MLAs from both the traditionalcoalitions- the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) are seeking another term in the April 6 polls.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, health minister K K Shailaja, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Power Minister M M Mani and Higher Education Minister K K Jaleel are among the prominent personalities trying their electoral luck from the ruling side.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, senior leaders K Muraleedharan, P T Thomas and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan are among those contesting from the UDF fold.
The election is crucial for an array of BJP leaders including former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, 'Metroman' E Sreedharan, who joined the saffron party recently, state president K Surendran, senior leader Shobha Surendran, Rajya Sabha members Suresh Gopi and K J Alphons and others.
The April 6 poll is equally significant for Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani who recently snapped decades- long ties with the UDF and joined hands with the Left front.
It would be a litmus test especially for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi personally as he had camped in the state for several days and taken part in dozens of corner meetings and rallies across Kerala to campaign for the UDF.
The ruling LDF is hoping to retain power for a second consecutive term breaking the state's four-decades-old trend of alternating between the UDF every five year.
While the UDF is all confident to form their government when the results are out on May 2, the BJP-led NDA is leaving no stone unturned to garner maximum number of seats to become a decisive force in the state's rule.