Kerala result makes Chandy stronger

Kerala result makes Chandy stronger
Thiruvananthapuram, May 17: The victory of the ruling Congress-led UDF in 12 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state has made Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stronger as Kerala is one of the few states that bucked the anti-Congress trend in the country.

Though it fell short of the 2009 tally of 16, UDF has been able to maintain its dominance in 80 of the total 140 assembly segments forming part of the Lok Sabha seats across the state. Political and social factors that worked in the polls have left the LDF camp unhappy even though the coalition doubled its tally from 2009 by winning eight seats, snatching four of them from the Congress.

Ironically, both the coalitions could boast that Kerala's contribution to their respective blocks in Parliament is substantial compared to other states. Kerala's 12 UDF MPs would be single largest contingent of the UPA from any state and the same is the case of the Left since it has done poorly in West Bengal. Reacting to the outcome, Chandy did not conceal his elation as he knew that it would help him ward off possible threats from his party or the coalition partners and carry on with his policies and programmes.

Chandy had approached the polls daring the rivals to take it as a referendum of his government's performance in the last three years. The results show that issues as solar scam haunting his government for over an year failed to mar the UDF's prospects greatly.

If the UDF tally had gone below 10, he would certainly have been held responsible for the loss and the internal rivals used it as a ruse to even oust him.

Victory of Congress's Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram also came as an added relief to Chandy as Kerala continues to be the only major state where BJP has failed to open account. But the biggest challenge for Chandy in the coming days would be striking a harmonious working relations with the Narendra Modi-led Government in Delhi as the Centre's sympathetic consideration is essential to take the state's development agenda forward.


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