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LDF gets two-thirds majority in Kerala; Cong out

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, May 11: The Congress was thrown out of power in Kerala as the Left parties today swept the polls to the twelfth Assembly, recording a two-thirds majority.

In the 140-member House, out of the 135 seats announced, the Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 95 seats, leaving a mere 40 to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and its poll ally, the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran).

The BJP drew a blank this time too.

It was one of the spectacular victories of the Left in Kerala which has the distinction of having the world's first elected Communist government when E M S Namboodiripad came to power in 1957.

Though his front lost the elections miserably, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was elected to the state Assembly for the ninth time from Puthupally constituency in Kottayam district. He defeated SFI state president Sindhu Joy of the LDF by over 19,000 votes.

CPI(M) stalwart and chief minister probable V S Achuthanandan and LDF convener Paloli Mohammed Kutty also won the elections by a comfortable margin. However, several ministers in the Ommen Chandy Cabinet and prominent UDF leaders had to bite the dust this time.

Indian Union Muslim League leaders P K Kunhalikutty, E T Mohammed Basheer, Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) president K Muraleedharan, 12-time MLA and JSS leader K R Gouri, UDF convener P P Thankachan, former ministers R Balakrishna Pillai and T M Jacob, were the prominent losers.

The people of Kerala maintained their tradition intact by voting for a change. It will be after five years that the LDF is returning to power in Kerala where the main fight has always been between the two gigantic fronts with the BJP, a mere onlooker.

The CPI(M) heads the LDF in which the Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Janata Dal(S), Kerala Congress (Joseph), Nationalist Congress Party, Congress(S) and Kerala Congress (Secular) are the other parnters.

In the UDF folds, apart from the Congress, there are Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M), Janathipathya Samrakshana Samiti, Communist Marxist Party, RSP(B) and Kerala Congress (B).

DIC(K), founded by veteran leader K Karunakaran, has a seat-sharing pact with the UDF.

Kerala, which boasts of high literacy rate and healthcare on par with developed nations, went to the polls in three phases -- on April 22, 29 and May three. The last phase of elections in Kannur and Kasaragod districts attracted national as well as media attention as it was held under tight security. However, polling went off peacefully.

There were 21.48 million voters, including 11.14 million women, in the 14 districts of Kerala. In the previous elections, the UDF had won 100 seats.


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