Left all set to bounce back to power in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, May 11: The Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) looked all set to bounce back to power in Kerala, establishing a clear lead over the Congress-led ruling coalition as the counting of votes for the Assembly polls progressed this morning.
The LDF candidates have surged ahead in 89 constituencies, while the United Democratic Front (UDF) was far behind with leads in only 51 constituencies. The BJP was nowhere in the picture as the counting progressed for 140 Assembly seats.
CPI(M) stalwart and Chief Minister probable V S Achuthanandan established a comfortable lead of over 11,000 votes against his Congress rival Satheesan Pacheni in Malampuzha constituency.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and LDF convenor Paloli Mohammed Kutty are also leading against their respective rivals. Former Union Minister and BJP leader O Rajagopal, Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) president K Muraleedharan and several members of the Ommen Chandy Cabinet like Public Works Minister M K Muneer, Labour Minister Babu Divakaran, Agriculture Minister K R Gauri and Cooperation Minister M V Raghavan are trailing.
Keeping its tradition intact, the people of Kerala have once again voted for a change. Almost all the pre-poll and exit poll surveys had predicted that the LDF would win the elections.
It will be after five years that the LDF is likely to return to power in Kerala where the main fight has always been between the two gigantic fronts with the BJP as 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 partners.
In the UDF fold, apart from the Congress, there are the Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M), the Janathipathya Samrakshana Samiti, Communist Marxist Party, RSP(B) and Kerala Congress (B).
DIC(K), founded by veteran leader K Karunakaran, is having 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 elections in Kannur and Kasaragod districts have attracted national and 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 in 100 seats, leaving the remaining 40 to the LDF.