Manorama News-VMR Kerala Exit Poll: UDF's VT Balram set to retain Thrithala edging LDF’s MB Rajesh

Hoardings of V T Balram and M B Rajesh in a harvested paddy field Thrithala. Photo: TA Ameerudheen.

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate and Congress leader V T Balram will register a hat-trick win from the Thrithala assembly constituency, according to the Manorama News-VMR exit poll result released on Thursday.

He will edge Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader MB Rajesh, the poll predicted.

Balram will get 46.3% per cent votes while Rajesh will collect 40.1% per cent votes.

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Sanku T Das would finish third with 12.3% per cent votes.

Since 1991, the constituency has elected CPM leaders four times (1991, 1996, 2001, 2006).

In 2011, Balram scored an upset win over senior CPM leader P Mammikkutty by 3,197 votes. Balram retained the seat in 2016 with a higher margin of 10,547 votes.

In 2019 Lok Sabha election, UDF’s winning candidate from Ponnani constituency, E T Muhammed Basheer of the Indian Union Muslim League, could muster a lead of 8,404 votes from Thrithala Assembly segment. This means that UDF lost 2,143 votes in three years after Balram’s 2016 victory.

In the local body polls in December 2020, LDF collected 6,822 more votes than the UDF.

The LDF brought in former Palakkad parliamentarian Rajesh in a desperate attempt to win the constituency back from Balram. The Left front raked up Balram’s derogatory social media remarks about CPM stalwart A K Gopalan to energise cadres apart from dwelling on the welfare schemes of the Pinarayi government. Balram’s campaign, on the other hand, focussed on the development brought by him.

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