Battle line clear: Record number of candidates ready to fight it out in Kerala
Kerala is headed for an interesting electoral battle this time with a record number of 1,203 candidates left in the fray in 140 constituencies. Unlike the previous elections, the state is witnessing a triangular fight in many constituencies.
As the deadline to withdraw nominations ended on Monday, nine rebels stay put, most of them creating a headache for the United Democratic Front (UDF) camp.
The presence of women remains less than 10% with just 109 in a state where the sex ratio is as high as 1084.
As many as 444 candidates withdrew nominations on Monday leaving 1,203 in the fray. In 2011 polls, the total number of candidates was 971. Malappuram district, which has the maximum number of seats, records the highest number of candidates with 145 persons remaining in the contest. Predictably, Wayanad, with only three seats, has the lowest number of candidates in the state with just 29.
Though this election saw a record number of candidates, the presence of women remains less than 10% with just 109 in a state where the sex ratio is as high as 1084.
The strong presence of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in many constituencies has ensured a tight triangular fight in many constituencies where traditionally, the UDF and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) usually fought for dominance.
Besides Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (Puthuppally), Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan (Malampuzha), Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala (Haripad) and CPM Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan (Dharmadom) are the prominent leaders in the battle for Kerala. The BJP, which is pushing to open an account in the Kerala Assembly, has fielded its state president Kummanam Rajasekharan (Vattiyoorkavu) and former Union minister O Rajagopal (Nemom).