Campaigning for the April 10 Lok Sabha elections in Kerala will end tomorrow with candidates of the Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF locked in a fierce battle for 20 seats. Though a persistent loser in the State, the BJP has put up contestants across the State and has made the fight a three-horse race at least in the State capital.

In 2009 the ruling UDF bagged 16 of the 20 seats — 13 Congress, two IUML and one Kerala Congress (M).

The Congress is contesting 15 seats this time, giving away two of its sitting seats to allies, the Socialist Janata Democratic (SJD) and RSP, which quit the LDF after the declaration of elections.

The contestants in the fray include six Union Ministers —— Shashi Tharoor, Kodikunnil Suresh, K C Venugopal, K V Thomas, Mullapally Ramachandran (all Congress) and E Ahamed (IUML).

Sitting MPs of the CPI(M) — A Sampath, M B Rajesh, P K Biju and P Karunakaran — are seeking a fresh mandate from the same constituencies that they won in 2009.

High-profile UDF contestants include former Union Minister M P Veerendrakumar, who is fighting it out against Rajesh of the CPI(M) in Palakkad.

Prominent LDF candidates in the field includes CPI (M) polit bureau member and former minister M A Baby, who is taking on N K Premachandran of the RSP in Kollam.

The LDF has fielded five Independents, including veteran cine actor Innocent in Chalakkudi, who is pitted against Congress heavyweight P C Chacko, who headed the JPC on 2G spectrum allocation.

For the BJP, its best hope is former union minister O Rajagopal, who will give a fight to Shashi Tharoor of the Congress and Bennet Abraham of the CPI in Thiruvananthapuram.