Vijayan looks set to continue in power in Kerala
After four rounds of counting, the front is leading on 90 seats, with the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front way behind at 47 and the BJP-led NDA at three
The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is set to buck the electoral trend of four decades in Kerala by retaining power in the state, counting trends show.
After four rounds of counting, the front is leading on 90 seats, with the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front way behind at 47 and the BJP-led NDA at three. “Metro Man” E Sreedharan and actor Suresh Gopi are among the leading NDA candidates. In the outgoing assembly, the BJP had a lone MLA, O Rajagopal.
The state has been changing the party in power every five years but this time the LDF appears set to make history by winning at least 80 of 140 seats, trends show. For chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan who led the coalition from the front it is a personal victory and will buttress his position in the party, political observers said.
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The party had dropped many seniors, including finance minister Thomas Isaac, law minister AK Balan and public works department minister G Sudhakaran, and denied seats to many who have won more than twice, in order to beat any anti-incumbency sentiment.
Handling of the pandemic, welfare schemes and its development agenda helped the LDF, political observers said. Having emerged stronger in the party and the coalition, Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to be sworn in within a couple of days.
For the opposition Congress, which inducted many fresh faces and women candidates, it is a setback. Though senior leader Rahul Gandhi, an MP from the state, and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigned vigorously, they failed to counter the Left coalition. Leaders of both fronts said they would react only after a clear picture emerged.