Election campaign picks up momentum in Kerala

Election campaign picks up momentum in Kerala

Election campaign picks up momentum in Kerala

Despite sweltering heat conditions and a lull in campaigning against the backdrop of the Kollam temple tragedy, canvassing for the May 16 assembly polls in Kerala is slowly picking up momentum with leaders of political parties criss crossing the state, seeking votes.

The poll campaign had taken a back seat, especially in the southern districts of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram against the backdrop of the Kollam temple fireworks tragedy on April 10, that had claimed 108 lives.

However, the election campaign has now gained momentum.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was busy reviewing rescue and rehabilitation of the tragedy victims, has drawn up a hectic poll campaign for himself in the next few days.

The CM, heading the ruling Congress-led UDF campaign along with KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, will be addressing a series of poll meetings in the coming days.

Chandy's scheduled campaign programmes include addressing poll meetings in Ernakulam, and in northern district of Palakkad on April 16, besides his home constituency Puthuppally in Kottayam and in Alappuzha on April 17.

V S Achuthanandan, the 93-year old CPI(M) veteran and star campaigner for party headed LDF, will tour the northern districts till the end of this month.

The Veteran communist leader would be addressing at least three meetings in all the districts.

While one will be in the morning, two will be in the evening, apparently due to hot weather conditions prevailing in the state, party sources said.

Achuthanandan will file his nomination at his constituency in Malampuzha on April 25.
He would attend panchayat level meetings and family gatherings in the coming days, party sources said.

The ruling UDF and Opposition LDF and BJP alliances have already lined up their candidates, though there is some confusion in one or two constituencies.

UDF has focussed on 'development initiatives' of the government to retain power, while LDF has attacked UDF over corruption charges, especially related to solar and bar bribery scams and land assignment issues.

Both Fronts are also targetting BJP and had vowed that "communal politics" of the saffron party would not be allowed to bloom in the state.

The BJP, which is hoping to open its account in Kerala, is presenting itself as the 'third alternative' to the two fronts and has accused successive governments of having put impediments in the path of development.

BJP has forged an alliance with Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, a new party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a social organisation of the backward Ezhava community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah are among the national leaders expected to campaign for NDA candidates in the state, the party sources said.

The UDF government has survived the full five year term though it came to power in 2011 on a wafer thin majority of 72 seats in the 140-member Assembly with LDF getting 68.

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