Minority voters backed LDF, CPM to probe Kundara defeat

Thiruvananthapuram: A pro-Left Democratic Front shift in minority votes helped the alliance to return to power with more seats, CPM felt.

The party, however, did not want to point out the minority support as the sole factor that led the Front to victory. It said the support extended by all religious and caste groups enabled the Front to post an emphatic win.

While reviewing the 2016 poll result, the CPM state committee felt that the UDF supremacy in Malappuram, Ernakulam and Kottayam reflected the LDF’s failure in winning the confidence of minority Christian and Muslim voters.

UDF maintained its lead in Malappuram and Ernakulam in this election as well, but in Kottayam, the LDF added three more to its 2016 tally of two. The induction of Kerala Congress (M) into the Left fold paid dividends, the CPM felt. The Left also retained its five seats in the Pathanamthitta district.

The CPM estimated that the LDF had won 6.78 lakh votes more this time. More women and a majority of young voters favoured the Left, reflecting the popular sentiment for a Left continuation in power.

Post polling, the CPM district committees had reported that the LDF would win 100 seats. The Thiruvananthapuram committee had reported that the Front would win all 13 seats, except Kovalam.

The State leadership, however, did not take the reports at face value, but cross-checked each report with the ground situation in each constituency and concluded that the Front would win 80 seats. But when the results were announced, the Front performed almost as predicted by the district committees.

Incidentally, the CPM had not included Tripunithura, its sitting seat, in the list of sure constituencies. Despite the LDF’s exemplary performance in the Kollam district, the defeat at Kundara shocked the CPM.

The party felt that the leak in BJP’s vote bank in Tripunithura and Kundara helped UDF win those two constituencies, which the chief minister later alleged in a news conference on Monday.

The CPM had been claiming that the BJP won’t win even a single seat. Still, the Left party did not foresee a dip in BJP’s vote share. The CPM ruled out the possibility of BJP votes going to the LDF.

According to CPM’s preliminary estimation, the Indian Union Muslim League had suffered a huge setback than the Congress. Outside Malabar, the League has a presence only in Mannarkkad.

Additionally, there was a significant decrease in the majority of League candidates, including P K Kunhalikutty in Vengara. With the setback, the CPM felt the League cannot claim itself as the single party to have influence over the Muslim community.

The State secretariat of the CPM will officially review the poll result on Tuesday. The State committee will also conduct a review after receiving detailed reports from the districts. The party is likely to separately probe J Mercykutty Amma’s defeat in Kundara.

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