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Kerala Elections 2016: LDF, UDF release respective manifestos

Kerala Elections 2016 will see a three-pronged fight between the Congress-led UDF, CPM-led LDF and the BJP

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi/thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: April 22, 2016 9:17:45 am
kerala elections, kerala elections 2016, kerala assembly elections, kerala news, oommen chandy, congress, VS achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan, CPM, LDF, BJP, UDF Kerala elections 2016: It will be a three-pronged fight between the Congress-led UDF, CPM-led LDF and the BJP

This is a two-month long live blog that will cover everything from the campaigns, the candidates and all the major news developments leading up to the Kerala Assembly elections 2016. 

April 22

Pinarayi Vijayan talks to Express: In an interview with The Indian Express, Pinarayi Vijayan, widely known as one of the CM contenders for the LDF in Kerala, said the front hasn’t decided or thought about a CM candidate. He added that the LDF will win more than 100 seats in the 140-member state assembly. Read more here

UDF manifesto: A manifesto released by the UDF partners led by the Congress party has promised a liquor-free Kerala if elected to power. It also promises the time-bound completion of mega infrastructure projects. Read more here

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25 lakh jobs in 5 years: The LDF has also released its manifesto ahead of the crucial state elections. The CPM-led front has promised 25 lakh jobs in 5 years along with a high-speed corridor in collaboration with the Railways. Read more

April 2

New tracker poll: A new tracker poll by India TV-CVoter has given the CPI(M)-led LDF a clean majority in the Kerala Assembly post elections. The opinion poll does not bode well for the Congress-led UDF, already rife with factionalism. The BJP is set to open its account in the state Assembly, most probably in Nemom where its candidate O Rajagopal is contesting.

March 13

BJP finalises list of 22 probable candidates: BJP, which is yet to open its account in the Kerala Assembly, finalised its first list of 22 probable candidates for the May 16 assembly polls.

While BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan will be making his electoral debut from Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram, former Union minister O Rajagopal will try his luck from Nemom.

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Aiming to make its presence felt in the bi-polar polity of Kerala, BJP had sewed by an alliance with the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a new party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a powerful organisation of backward Ezhava community, led by its General Secretary Vellappally Natesan.

March 11

Seat sharing talks in trouble: Kerala Congress (J), an ally of the Congress-led UDF. is not having good seat negotiation talks with the Congress party. There are reports that the talks broke down after there was no confirmation on the Angamaly and Piravom seats, constituencies that the Kerala Congress (J) has demanded without conditions. They also want two other seats.

This will be adding to the headache of the UDF which has already seen a split in the Kerala Congress (M) group.

March 5

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Opinion poll: If the opinion polls conducted by CVoter are correct, it will be a resounding victory for the Left parties with a vote-share of 44.6% and a total seat tally of 89 seats in the 140-member state assembly. On the other hand, the Congress-led UDF will fall drastically to end up at 49 seats from the present 72 seats. The numbers prove that the anti-incumbency sentiment against the Oommen Chandy-led government is high, given the number of scandals the government has been hit by.

March 4

Poll dates announced: Kerala will vote in a single phase on May 16. The counting day is May 19. Along with Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will also be voting.

Rajagopal’s writ: If there is one leader in the Kerala BJP unit who could come close to winning an MLA or MP election, that was O Rajagopal, a former MoS Railways in the AB Vajpayee government. In 2014, he came strikingly close to wresting the Thiruvananthapuram constituency from Congress, but eventually lost out to Shashi Tharoor by 10,000 votes.

But this time, the party is leaving no stone unturned. Rajagopal, who enjoys a loyal following in the state capital and outskirts, is likely to be fielded from Nemom. This time, the BJP fancies its chances of opening an account in the state assembly.

There are also reports that Kummanam Rajasekharan, the state BJP president, will contest from Vattiyoorkavu. Former state president V Muraleedharan might contest from Kazhakootam.

Map loading… (Click here)

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March 3

The Kerala Congress split: Touching yet another flash point in the history of Kerala Congress, the Kerala Congress (Mani) is moving towards an imminent split with a section of leaders led by former MP Francis George, Antony Raju and KC Joseph have decided to join the left front, most likely on Thursday. READ MORE

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BJP-BDJS alliance: BJP announced an electoral tie-up with Bhartiya Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) in the poll-bound Kerala, claiming that the people are “fed-up” with ruling UDF and main opposition LDF and have immense aspiration with nationalist forces. Making the announcement at at the party office, Union Minister J P Nadda said, “… Aspiration with nationalists forces (in Kerala) is immense. We have always tried that nationalist forces come together. We will see to it that our front comes victorious.”

March 2

Vijayan versus VS: Who will lead the LDF in the upcoming elections in Kerala? Now, that’s a million dollar question. The open rebellion courted by nonagenarian VS Achuthanandan, who is a former chief minister, in the party is well known and he has a decades-long rivalry with state CPM secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, widely assumed to be the next CM of Kerala provided the LDF comes to power. Reportedly, Sitaram Yechury is interested in VS contesting the elections as he is a leader who draws massive crowds and is widely popular in state politics. But he is also 93 — an age not quite fit for a chief minister who will have to travel the length and breadth of the state for the next five years.

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So what will it be? VS or Vijayan? We’ll wait and see.

kerala elections, kerala elections 2016, kerala assembly elections, kerala news, oommen chandy, congress, VS achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan, CPM, LDF, BJP, UDF Pinarayi Vijayan (left) and VS Achuthanadan (centre) are the two main faces of the CPM in Kerala

Actor versus actor: It could be a battle of actors in the Pathanapuram Assembly constituency this election if this Manorama report is to believed. Popular actor Jagadeesh may be fielded as a Congress candidate against sitting MLA and actor KB Ganesh Kumar in the constituency which falls in Kollam district. Both actors have shared screen space in many films and this could therefore end up a friendly fight. Ganesh Kumar is a member of the Congress (B) party led by his father R Balakrishna Pillai, that split from the INC several years ago.

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First published on: 02-03-2016 at 02:02:29 pm
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