In an ironic turn of events for the UDF in the Kochi Corporation’s North Island ward, N Venugopal, seen as the mayoral candidate of the Congress, lost to his BJP rival by just one vote.
Counting of votes for the Kerala local body elections 2020 is underway. The Congress was looking to nominate a strong leader from its 'I' group as the candidate for the post of mayor. The UDF has been ruling the Kochi corporation for the past 10 years.
Venugopal was contesting from Island North this time, rather than the neighbouring Island South, from where he posted victories in 2005 and 2010. The Congress leader who has also represented the combined division of Island North and Island South in 2000, when the two areas were yet to be constituted as separate divisions, was confident of a win.
The Kerala State Election Commission began counting of votes today at 8 am for 21,893 wards in 1,200 local bodies which went to polls in three phases.
While the ruling LDF is hoping for an "iconic victory" on the back of welfare measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) is hoping to corner the LDF over corruption cases most notably involving the Chief Minister's Office in a gold smuggling case. The third and the final phase of the local body polls concluded in Kerala on Monday in the four northernmost districts, with 78.62 per cent turnout being recorded, according to the State Election Commission. As per latest details issued by the SEC, Kozhikode district recorded the highest turnout with 78.98 per cent, followed by Malappuram (78.86) and Kannur 77.54) Kasaragod recorded the lowest voter turnout with 77.14 per cent.