Pinarayi scripts new chapter in Kerala history as Left front sweeps polls

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It's history in the making in Kerala. For the first time in over four decades, a government is retaining power in the state.

The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is leading in 99 of the 140 seats in the state as counting of votes progresses.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front got a drubbing as it has been restricted to just forty-one seats, seven down from its 2016 tally.

The BJP, which had won its first and lone seat in the state in 2016, drew a blank.

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Its two powerful candidates, Kummanam Rajasekharan and Metroman E Sreedharan, had to concede defeat after maintaining lead throughout the race.

Kummanam lost to LDF's V Sivankutty in Nemom, which the saffron front had won in 2016 and Sreedharan was defeated by UDF's Shafi Parambil, who registered a hat-trick of wins in Palakkad.

While Shafi managed to retain his seat, another prominent young face of Congress, V T Balram lost the battle to CPM's M B Rajesh in Thrithala.

Youth Congress vice president K S Sabarinadhan also lost in his sitting seat, Aruvikkara. He was trumped by CPM's G Stephan.

It is evident that there was a huge wave in favour of the Pinarayi Vijayan government, which managed to perform well amid crises like two floods, Nipah and Covid outbreaks.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, (Dharmadom) Health Minister K K Shailaja (Mattannur) and Electricity Minister M M Mani (Udumpanchola) emerged winners with massive margins.

However, Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty lost from Kundara seat against Congress's P C Vishnunadh.

From the UDF camp, the winners include former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (Puthuppally), Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala (Haripad) and V D Satheesan (Paravur).

Notably, Chandy's winning margin came down to 8,000-odd votes from the 27,000-odd votes in 2016. LDF's young candidate Jaick C Thomas brought down Chandy's margin to less than 10,000 in his second attempt, despite Chandy being considered as a probable chief ministerial candidate.

The LDF camp suffered a shock amid the celebrations as Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani suffered a drubbing at the hands of UDF's Mani C Kappen at his hometown, Pala.

While KC(M) candidates emerged winners in Idukki, Kanjirappally, Changanassery and Poonjar, Jose K Mani's defeat in Pala was a blot.

In Poonjar, P C George who represented the constituency continuously since 1996, tasted defeat as KC(M)'s Sebastian Kulathunkal won by over 11,000 votes.

BJP state chief K Surendran, who tried his luck from Manjeswaram and Konni constituencies, lost from both the seats. In Manjeswaram, UDF candidate A K M Ashraf won while Konni was retained by LDF's K U Jenish Kumar.  

Fierce battle

The state witnessed a never-before fierce battle between the LDF, UDF and the BJP-led NDA, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and CPM general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, among others, hitting the campaign trail.

Of the about 2.74 crore-strong electorate in Kerala, 1,32,83,724 were men, 1,41,62,025 women and 290 transgenders, according to Election Commission figures.

The state had recorded a voter turnout of 74.06% on April 6.

Kerala Assembly Elections 2016 Results:

In the 2016 assembly elections, LDF rode to power with 91 seats, while UDF garnered 47. The BJP got one seat and independent candidate P C George won one.

LDF - 91

UDF - 47

NDA - 1

OTHERS – 1

Number of voters:

Population - 35,699,443

Total no of voters - 2,67,31,509

Men - 1,29,52,025

Women - 1,37,79,263

Third Gender - 221

Current status:

In the outgoing Assembly, the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front had 91 seats, while the Congress-led United Democratic Front had 47, and the BJP and P.C. George, whose party is not allied with any of the three fronts, had one each.

The LDF comprises 14 parties, including the Kerala Congress-Mani and the erstwhile Janata Dal-U (now the Loktantrik Janata Dal), which crossed over from the UDF last year.

In the UDF, there are just five parties at present while the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance also has five.

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