Kerala: Local bodies’ elections
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Kizhakkambalam gram panchayat
The Times of India, November 8, 2015
First corporate to fight polls sweeps Kerala panchayat
A corporate group opened its account in an election in India for the first time when its political avatar, named Twenty20, breezed into power in Kizhakkambalam gram panchayat in Kerala, winning 17 of the 19 seats.Congress and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) won the other two seats while the Left drew a blank.
Twenty20 became popular in Kizhakkambalam, a village 22km from Ernakulam, after Kitex Group, a textile major with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore invested around Rs 28 crore in two years to usher in development in the panchayat and emerge as a credible political alternative.
“The Left and UDF have been ruling the gram pan chayat till now. However, they have done nothing. Kitex Group gives us groceries at half-price. They built 458 houses and over 600 toilets for the poor, repaired roads, conducted medical check-ups and sponsored surgeries. Under the leadership of Sabu M Jacob (MD of Kitex), we selected our candidates and carried out a phased campaign.The results speak for themselves,“ said Biju Athanipparambil, an auto driver and
Twenty20 executive member. Twenty20 candidates fielded by the Kitex Group contested against LDF, UDF, BJP, SDPI and independent candidates. According to figures released by the district administration, an unprecedented 90.5% of 24,300-odd voters turned up at the booths to cast their votes. In the 2010 elections, the turnout was 84%.
LDF wins 13 out of 20 seats in by-elections
LDF improved its tally by winning one extra seat in the byelection held to 20 local body ward seats.
LDF clinched 13 seats, while the UDF won six and an independent candidate emerged winner in one seat in Idukki district. The BJP, which had no representation in any of the 20 wards, wrested one seat (Navaikulam) from the UDF. The seat position prior to the election was LDF 11, UDF 7 and 2 others. LDF wrested Thrikkunnapuzha (north) and Kolachery (Kannur) wards from the UDF and LDF lost Kambamcode and Thainagar ward to UDF.
Elections were held in 16 grama panchayat wards in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur districts and one block panchayat ward each in Malappuram and Kannur and one municipality ward each in Wayanad and Kannur districts.