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Two-thirds majority for Left in Kerala

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, May 11 (UNI) A 'red wave' swept Kerala with the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) today registering a big win over the Congress-led United Democratic Front, by achieving over a two-third majority in the Assembly with 98 of the 140 seats.

While the LDF recorded its biggest ever victory since the present political combination came into existence in 1980, the UDF could win only 42 seats with several leaders losing the electoral battle in the polls held in three phases on April 22 and 29 and May three.

The BJP drew a blank despite an all-out effort to open its account in the Assembly. Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran), a breakaway faction of the Congress, also suffered major setbacks even though it fought the elections in alliance with the UDF.

'It was an unexpected outcome,' said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is likely to submit his resignation to the Governor tomorrow. The results were vitually a reversal of the previous poll in 2001 when the UDF won 99 seats.

Mr Chandy, who won for the ninth consecutive term from his home turf Puthupally, said while he accepted responsibility for the UDF's defeat, there was no anti-incumency factor.

On the other hand, CPI(M) stalwart and Chief Minister probable, V S Achuthanandan, who won the Malampuzha seat by over 20,000 votes, said the LDF would present a clean administration.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau, which would meet in New Delhi on May 13 is expected to select the chief ministerial candidate. However, it is not likely to be a smooth ride for the 83-year-old Mr Achuthanandan as there is some reported opposition to his candidature.

The CPI(M) improved its tally to 61 as against the previous 23.

The CPI secured 17 seats, JD-S - five, Kerala Congress - four, RSP - three, Congress-S, NCP and Kerala Congress secular and INL one each, while LDF independents won four seats.

The Congress tally dropped to 24 from 62 seats while that of its major ally, the Indian Union Muslim League, fell to seven from the 17 it secured in 2001.

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