Elections 2021

LDF retains Kerala with a bigger mandate

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 03, 2021

Pinarayi Vijayan   -  THE HINDU

For the first time in four decades, the State is returning an incumbent ruling combine

For the first time in four decades, Kerala returned an incumbent government to power with Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) storming back for a second term with a tally that bettered the 2016 numbers.

“This mandate is an acknowledgement of the manner in which the State was governed through the various crises in the past few years,” said the victorious Chief Minister, whose government has steered Kerala through a series of crises including the Nipah virus scare and the Ockhi cyclone of 2017; the great floods of 2018, often described as the worst of the century, a near-encore in 2019, and the outbreak of Covid-19 that torments the State even after one-and-half years.

The ruling coalition swept in 10 out of the 14 districts in the State, which saw both the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance witnessing a massive setback. The UDF could not hold on to 47 seats in the outgoing Assembly. The NDA forfeited the lone seat of Nemom it had won through senior leader O Rajagopal in 2016. Former State BJP President and Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, who contested this time, failed to sustain the early lead and ended up second to the victorious LDF candidate.

‘Metro Man’ loses

Elsewhere, current BJP President K Surendran lost both from Manjeswar and Konni while Metro Man E Sreedharan could not gather speed in Palakkad. The party has drawn a blank this time despite its hectic campaigning featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, among others.

Similarly, the UDF suffered major reverses with a leader of the stature of former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Oommen Chandy, just scraping through in his pocket borough Puthuppalli against a young contender from the LDF. A number of other top leaders of the party too bit the dust.

The LDF also had its share of jitters after Jose K Mani, Chairman of Kerala Congress (M) who led his party out of the UDF into the LDF camp ahead of the Assembly elections, was trounced by Mani C Kappan of the UDF (he originally belonged to NCP, an LDF constituent) from Pala in central Kerala.

Published on May 02, 2021

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