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India elections: Kerala bucks trend, poised to re-elect Left government

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 2, 2021
Chief Minister and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan won by a margin of 50,123 votes. Photo: Twitter

BJP-led NDA draws a blank, UDF limited to 40 seats in the 140-seat assembly


Kerala is all set to break the 40-year old trend of electing the incumbent. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) is inching closer to a historic win as counting is in the last stage for the 140-seat assemble elections on Sunday.

Latest trend shows that LDF is leading in 99 seats, UDF in 41. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) drew a blank losing its lone assembly seat in Nemom.

LDF’s V. Shivankutty won the assembly seats that had gone to BJP’s kitty in 2016. He defeated BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan.

Chief Minister and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, who has led his party to a resounding win and a second-time rule in the state, won by a margin of 50,123 votes against Congress' C Raghunathan in Dharmadam constituency.

Claiming victory for the LDF, Vijayan said, "Our victory today is the victory of the people. We believe in the people and they have trust in us. That's why we have won more seats than 2016. We can go into the details of the election at a later time."

In the same breath, he reminded people that it is not time to celebrate as the number of Covid infections continue to surge in the South Indian state.

Kerala voted in a single phase on April 6. The state had registered a voter turnout of 73.40 per cent. The counting of votes began at 8 am today.

One of the most significant victories for LDF was of K.K. Shailaja, sitting health minister who won international praise for her handling of the Covid crisis in the state last year . She won the Mattannur constituency by 60,000 votes – the highest ever margin in Kerala’s history. "The LDF in Kerala got a thumping victory in assembly elections and are thankful to people of Kerala," she said.

The CPI-M’s party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, in a video message, “thanked the people of Kerala for reposing faith in an unprecedented manner in the way that the previous LDF government tackled all the challenges that the people have faced and also the pandemic scourge. The government gave a Kerala model to the world on how to handle the pandemic."

BJP’s star candidate E. Sreedharan aka Metro Man lost in Palakkad, a Hindu majority constituency, to Congress candidate Shafi Parambil. Other prominent BJP candidates who lost include BJP State President K. Surendran who contested in two seats, ex-Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and Sobha Surendran.

Congress’s some of the noted young leaders with big support base like VT Balram and K. S. Sabarinath lost.

P.C George, who contested as an independent, lost. Other conspicuous lose include that of Jose K. Mani, whose Kerala Congress broke away from UDF and aligned with LDF.

"We will discuss with our colleagues and examine what happened. I have come to know that my majority is over 8000 votes. I don't know the panchayat-level trends,” Congress leader and ex-Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who won by a slight margin, told reporters.

KK Rema, Congress-backed RMP candidate and wife of slain comrade TP Chandrashekaran, won from Vadakara constituency in Kerala.

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.





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