ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kerala : Independents' Rise

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Understandably the results of the local body elections in Kerala have aroused a good deal of interest in the country. The major point of attention has been that Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has done better than the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in terms of seats won in municipalities. As against 45.09 per cent seats won by the UDF, the proportion of seats won by LDF is 44.83 per cent. In the five corporations however the LDF could gain hold of 51.68 per cent of the seats as against the UDF's 38.59 per cent. Of course, one should not forget that the BJP has secured as many as 40 seats in the municipalities and four in the corporations. In the gram panchayats however the hold of the LDF is better, being 46.69 per cent as against 43.89 per cent of the UDF.

One reason why the Kerala local body elections provoked considerable nationwide interest was that in the elections to the Lok Sabha in 1999 the LDF's vote share of 43.60 per cent was considerably lower than that of UDF (46.89 per cent). Compared to that, in the local body elections while the UDF share of votes cast was only 41.48 per cent, LDF's share was 42.64 per cent. It is also noteworthy that in the local body elections while the BJP's vote share was 5.83 per cent compared to 8.01 per cent in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, independents got away with a substantial increase from 1.5 per cent in the Lok Sabha elections to 10.05 per cent in these elections.

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