VS to resign on Saturday; Oomen Chandy to be new CM?

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 15: After gaining a narrow victory over ruling front Left Democratic Front (LDF), the United Democratic Front (UDF) camp started unofficial meetings to decide the new Chief Minister of the state. According to sources from Congress camp, former CM Oommen Chandy is likely to be elected as the new CM.

UDF returned to power after five years by winning 72 seats in the 140-member Assembly. Unlike the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and 2010 Panchayath polls, UDF crawled to cross the magic number 71 in closest poll battle in the state in three decades. CPI-M leader VS Achuthanandan's LDF managed to grab 68 seats after a neck-to-neck fight that brought anxiety till the counting ends.

Even though the new UDF government sets to swear-in in few days, it will be difficult for Congress to choose the ministers as many of its alliance raised demands for key positions in the ministry. And moreover, Congress itself faced setbacks in the election as it manged to win only 38 seats out of the contested 82 seats. Whereas in LDF, CPI-M emerged as the single largest party with 45 seats.

While most of the prominent figures tasted the victory, some failed to impress the voters. Three ministers in Achuthanandan Ministry, Devaswom Minister Ramahandran Kadnapally (Cong-s), Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran (RSP) and Youth Affairs Minister V Surendran Pillai, lost to their opponents in the race. The 92-year-old JSS leader KR Gouri Aamma and CMP supremo MV Raghavan also included in the lost list.

Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) once again failed to open their account in the state. All BJP leaders including O Rajagopal, CK Padmanabhan and Jayalaxmi Bhatt fell by the wayside.

KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala, who won from Haripad constituency with more than 5,000 votes majority, said that UDF's performance is "not so satisfactory." He also added that the reason for lost votes would be examined later. While asked about his plans to become Chief Minister, Chennithala responded, "There will be a Chief Minister, and there will be ministers."

The 87-year-old VS Achuthanandan, who won from Malampuzha constituency for the third time, said that LDF will function as a "tough opposition." The veteran CM, who scored an impressive win with 23,187 votes majority, added that he will submit his resignation on Saturday, May 14.

"We will function as a very tough opposition with the only objective of doing good for the people. Tomorrow morning I will submit my resignation to the governor and we will see what he says," Achuthanandan said.

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