LDF inches towards historic victory, while ‘Metro Man’ fails to maintain lead in Palakkad
The ruling Communist Party of India (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala is set to break the four-decade-old jinx as it inched towards victory by securing a lead in 92 of the 140 assembly seats. The ongoing counting which began at around 8am is expected to give final results by 5pm.
For over four decades in the southern state, the LDF and Congress-led United Democratic Front are leading the government alternatively. This year as well, the Congress was hoping that the state will stick to its tradition of booting out incumbents. However, as per the early trends, it is trailing with 47 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance has so far secured the lead on three seats.
As per the latest trends, the left front is far ahead of its rivals in 10 of the 14 districts including Dharmadam, where state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is contesting. He is ahead with 33104 votes, while Vijayan's opponent C Raghunathan of Congress is following with 19659 votes.
At least four of his cabinet colleagues, including T P Ramakrishnan (Perambra), M M Mani (Udumbanchola), K Krishnankutty (Chittur) and Kadannappally Ramachandran (Kannur) have already ensured their victory. However, the Election Commission is yet to call the victory.
Ministers KK Shailaja, AC Moideen and Kadakampally Surendran were leading, while their cabinet colleague J Mercykutty Amma was trailing right from the beginning.
In Palakkad, there was a photo finish as BJP and the Left front contested in a neck-to-neck fight. The Metro Man, E Sreedharan who was maintaining a lead since morning, started trailing by 1000 votes. Sitting legislator Shafi Parambhil of the Congress is ahead with 17599 votes.
The former chief minister of Kerala and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy is leading in Puthuppally constituency with a very slim margin of 2,805 votes against his rival Jaick C Thomas of CPI-M, according to the Election Commission.
Chandy has held the Puthuppally assembly seat for the last 50 years now.
Other senior Congress leaders including Ramesh Chennithala, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and P T Thomas are also leading in their respective constituencies.
Senior BJP leader and former Mizoram Governor, Kummanam Rajasekharan and actor-turned-Rajya Sabha MP, Suresh Gopi are also leading in Nemom and Thrissur constituencies respectively. However, BJP state chief K Surendran, who contested in Manjeswaram and Konni, continued to trail in both segments right from the beginning.
In Pala, Kerala Congress(M) chief Jose K Mani is trailing after sitting MLA Mani C Kappan maintained a a lead by securing over 10,000 votes. The KC(M), which has deep roots in Christian dominated central Kerala, had recently snapped its decades-long ties with the opposition UDF and joined the LDF. The lead of K K Rama, the widow of slain Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T P Chandrasekharan, in Vadakara in Kozhikode district has also dealt a jolt to the CPI(M) headed front.
Kerala went to the polls on April 6 along with Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry and West Bengal.