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With 91 seats, Left dethrones UDF in Kerala

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 20, 2016 03:52 IST
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The BJP scripted history by securing a seat in the assembly for the first time.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front on Thursday returned to power in Kerala getting a comfortable majority dealing a huge blow to the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front while the Bharatiya Janata Party created history making its debut.

In the 140-member assembly, the LDF won 91 seats, the UDF 47, the BJP and Independents one each.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Marxist Veteran V S Achutanandan and congratulated him for the LDF’s resounding victory.

Immediately after the poll results were out, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who will be submitting his resignation on Friday, said the poll outcome was a ‘setback’ and they had not expected such a defeat.

Elated over the victory, 92-year-old Achutanandan, who spearheaded the LDF campaign, said it was an LDF wave and the victory was a reflection on the anger of the people on the ‘corrupt and anti-people policies of the UDF government’.

The CPI-M Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan said the victory was an acceptance of the LDF’s development policies. The result also proved that people had rejected the ‘communal and divisive’ forces.

He also alleged that BJP was able to open its account due to Congress help.

In the LDF camp, the CPI-M won 58 seats, the Communist Party of India 19, the Kerala Congress (B), the Communist Marxist Party, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (L) and Congress (S) one each, the Janata Dal Secular three, the Nationalist Congress Party two and party backed independents five.

Of the 47 seats won by the UDF, the Congress won 22 seats, the Indian Union Muslim League 18, the Kerala Congress (Mani) six and the Kerala Congress (Jacob) one.

BJP’s O Rajagopal, a former Union minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, helped the saffron party to make its entry into Kerala assembly by winning the Nemom seat.

Significantly, P C George, a former Kerala Congress (M) rebel leader, who contested independently from Poonjar, won by 27,821 votes, surprising even his worst critics.

The UDF partners -- the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Janata Dal-United, which contested five and seven seats respectively, were routed in the polls.

Similarly, four leaders, who walked out of the Kerala Congress (M) of the UDF and formed a new party called ‘Democratic Kerala Congress’ and allied with the LDF, had to bite the dust as they lost all the four seats they contested.

Though BJP managed to win a seat, its key ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, a party floated by the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, an organisation of the backward Ezhava community, failed to win a single seat of the 37 seats it contested.

BJP’s state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, former presidents, V Muraleedharan, P S Sreedharan Pillai, C P Padmanabhan and P K Krishnadas, party general secretary K Surendran, and firebrand woman leader Shobha Surendran were all defeated.

However, party candidates came second in seven constituencies.

Cricketer Sreesanth, who also contested in the BJP ticket from Thiruvananthapuram, bit the dust at the hustings.

Achutanandan, the face of the LDF campaign and Pinarayi Vijayan, Thomas Issac, E P Jayarajan and actor Mukesh are among the prominent winners in the LDF.

While Chandy, former Finance Minister K M Mani, who had to resign in the backdrop of bar bribery allegations, were among those who survived the LDF onslaught, four of his cabinet colleagues, K Babu, who also was under the cloud of bar scam, Shibu Baby John (RSP), K P Mohanan (JD-U), P K Jayalakshmi (Congress) fell by the wayside.

Speaker N Shakthan, Deputy Speaker Palode Ravi and Congress leaders K Sudhakaran, Pandalam Sudhakaran, Padmaja Venugopal and Shanimol Osman and former minister Dominic Presentation were among the prominent losers in the UDF camp.

The UDF managed to win 12 seats in Malappuram, the stronghold of Indian Union Muslim League, its key partner and also in Ernakulam, where it won nine seats.

The LDF made massive inroads in Thrissur, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Alapuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts by capturing maximum seats.

In Thrissur, out of 13 constituencies, all except one went to the LDF. In Kollam all 10 seats were won by the LDF.

Minor clashes erupted between the CPI-M, the BJP and the IUML workers in various parts of Kannur and Kasaragod districts in North Kerala soon after the LDF victory and one person was killed when a country bomb was hurled at a LDF victory rally in Pinarayi in Kannur.

In the run up to the election, Modi’s comparison of Kerala with Somalia had hurt the Malayalee pride and Congress president Sonia Gandhi made an emotional reply to Modi's remarks on her Italian roots.

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