Block panchayat elections hinge on political choices

Just like the district panchayat, the campaigning for the block panchayat polls are generally confined to party politics in Kozhikode district.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have fielded their candidates and stepped up campaigning for the polls.

A total of 557 candidates are in the fray in 12 block panchayats.

The 12 block panchayats — Balusseri, Chelannur, Koduvally, Kozhikode, Kunnamangalam, Kunnummal, Melady, Panthalayani, Perambra, Thodannur, Thuneri and Vadakara — are spread over four taluks (Kozhikode, Vadakara, Koyilandy and Thamarassery) in the district.

Incidentally, the block panchayats do not cover the areas of the Kozhikode Corporation, and Koyilandy, Vadakara, Payyoli, Mukkom, Koduvally, Ramanattukara and Feroke municipalities.

The LDF seems to have an upper hand as electioneering picks up. One of the reasons has been attributed to the systematic campaign work of the coalition and the inclusion of the Loktantrik Janata Dal and the Indian National League in the Left coalition. However, the UDF has been putting up a brave front highlighting failures the State government.

In the 2015 local body polls, the LDF won 10 out of the 12 block panchayats. This was similar to the 2005 polls when it bagged all the 12 block panchayats. However, in the 2010 polls, when the overall performance of the UDF was comparatively better, the Left coalition won only four block panchayats.

Now, the political situation appears to be heading to a tri-cornered contest in some areas with the BJP giving a big push to its campaigning. The party has been gaining ground in regions after the its vote share in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha polls showed a remarkable improvement.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 7:11:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/block-panchayat-elections-hinge-on-political-choices/article33216510.ece

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