Left is right in Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan set to become CM again

After taking the lead in postal ballot counting, the LDF has continued to maintain the edge when the EVMs were opened. The Congress-led UDF did make slight forward progress but not anywhere near the majority.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala is leading in 82 seats, while Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is ahead in more than 45 constituencies as counting of votes for the April 6 Assembly Elections got underway on Sunday. As per initial trends, the BJP-led NDA is ahead in Palakkad and Nemom. Early leads showed that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Health Minister KK Shailaja, former CM Oommen Chandy and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala are leading in their respective constituencies.

Counting of votes for the 140-member Assembly began at 8 am. Authorities have made the arrangements for today as per COVID-19 protocols.

Exit polls have forecast that the ruling LDF will create history by retaining power. However, leaders of Congress-led UDF have dismissed the exit polls and expressed confidence in their alliance coming to power in the southern state.

This may be noted that Kerala has been witnessing the LDF and UDF alternatively coming to power for nearly 40 years.

The BJP has also made efforts to increase its footprint in Kerala.

The National Democratic Alliance, meanwhile, is leading in three seats — Suresh Gopi in Thrissur, Kummanam Rajasekharan in Nemom and E. Sreedharan in Palakkad.

Poonjar has thrown up an unpleasant surprise for veteran leader P.C. George, who had been the MLA of the constituency for the past 40 years. As per initial trends, LDF-backed Sebastian Kulathunkal is leading in the constituency by a margin of around 6,000 votes.

If Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is poised to come to power again, it would mean the dismantling of a decades-old habit of the Kerala electorate which alternates between LDF, led by CPI(M) and UDF, led by Congress, every five years.