LS polls: Public campaigning ends in Kerala; clashes reported in several places

UDF and NDA 's election campaign at Thiruvananthapuram's Peroorkkada. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The curtains came down on Wednesday evening on a high-voltage campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in 20 seats across Kerala on April 26. Though the district election officers had allotted centres for the campaign's grand finale and issued guidelines to avoid clashes, violence erupted in many places during 'Kottikalasam', the last lap of the campaign.

MLA CR Mahesh and several cops were injured in the stone pelting during a clash between UDF and LDF activists at Karunagappally in Kollam. Police used tear gas against the violent activist to bring the situation under control. Clashes between UDF and LDF activists were reported from Wayanad constituency's Mananthavady and Vandoor, Perumbavoor under Chalakudy constituency and Pathanapuram under Kollam constituency. 

Meanwhile, a conflict erupted between BJP and LDF activists at Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram. Amid the heated election campaign, UDF workers clashed with police at Mavelikkara. 

In order to avoid rioting, police have allotted three different spots for the UDF, LDF and NDA in Vadakkara and Kalpetta.  

LDF activists campaign for Joyce George in Idukki. Photo: Manorama

Voting in the state is scheduled from 7 am to 6 pm on Friday, April 26. Thursday is designated for silent campaigning, and election materials for all 20 constituencies will be distributed on that day. Counting will take place on June 4.

The Manorama News VMR pre-poll survey predicted a UDF dominance in this election, despite a significant depletion in their vote share.
The election campaign has been marked by numerous controversies this time, with accusations and counter-accusations dominating the discourse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charge on Congress and PV Anwar's 'DNA remarks' about Rahul Gandhi were the recent topics of debate in the state.

'Kottikkalasam', last lap of election campaign in Pathanamthitta. Photo: Manorama

Key leaders from the Congress, BJP and CPM have actively participated in Kerala's campaign. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, and party chief Mallikarjun Kharge led the Congress' efforts, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda campaigned for the BJP. CPM politburo member Brinda Karat and CPI politburo member Sitaram Yechury were part of the LDF campaign.

Due to the election, all liquor shops, including toddy shops and beer parlours, will remain closed from Wednesday 6 pm to Friday 6 pm. Additionally, on the day of voting, no liquor shops will operate in the state. Similar measures have been taken in Mahe, with liquor shops and restaurants serving liquor closed from April 24 to 26.

Instructions given for the silent campaign
1. Gathering or holding public meetings during the last 48 hours before voting is prohibited, with only silent campaigning allowed, said the Chief Electoral Officer.

2. During this period, films, television programs, advertisements, music programs, plays, exhibitions, opinion polls, surveys, and exit polls that could influence election outcomes are not permitted. Violators face potential imprisonment, fines, or both.

3. Strict actions will also be taken against any attempts to influence voters through money transfers, freebies, gifts, or alcohol distribution.

4. Party workers from outside the state will not be allowed to remain in the constituency during this period.

5. The ban on displaying and carrying licensed weapons will remain in effect until the election results are declared.

How to check if your name is on the voter's list?

Method 1: Call the voter helpline number 1950 and enter the voter ID card number along with the STD code to access voter list information.

Method 2: Send an SMS to 1950 with the message "ECI <space> Election ID card number" to receive voter list information via SMS.

Method 3: Visit the Election Commission's website,, click on the Electoral Search link, enter the Election ID Card Number (Epic Number), and select the state to access the voter list details.

Holiday on April 26
April 26 has been declared a holiday for all government, semi-government, and commercial offices, including banks, under the Negotiable Instruments Act due to elections.

Disclosure of the criminal background of candidates
Political parties in the state are allowed to disclose the criminal backgrounds of candidates contesting in the elections till Wednesday. The Election Commission has instructed parties to publicise this information through newspapers, TV channels, and their websites, following a Supreme Court judgment. This disclosure must occur three times after the nomination withdrawal deadline.

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