Led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) rewrote history in Kerala on Sunday by winning a second term in a state that had not returned an incumbent government in four decades. Vijayan the 76-year-old CPI (M) leader, became the only third chief minister in Kerala’s history to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term. The LDF’s win is just the second instance of a ruling front receiving consecutive terms.
The LDF won 97 of the state’s 140 seats, beating its own 2016 tally of 91 seats. The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) won 47 seats, while challenger Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to open its account. “We have closed the account that the BJP opened in the Kerala Assembly in the 2016 election. Kerala has become the only Assembly in India that has no representative from the BJP. Kerala will remain the stronghold of secularism in the country”, said CPI (M) leader Thomas Issac on Twitter.
We have closed the account that BJP opened in the Kerala assembly in 2016 election. Kerala has become the only assembly in India that has no representative from BJP. Kerala will remain the citadel of secularism in the country. #LDFVictory
— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) May 2, 2021
Fighting on the plank of development, the LDF is believed to have won votes with its prompt and able handling of the COVID pandemic.
The BJP, which had opened its account in the state last time with one seat and had expected to win at least half a dozen this time, drew a blank. Senior leaders like Kummanam Rajsekharan, K Surendran, Sobha Surendra, and E Sreedharan were all defeated from their respective constituencies.
PM Modi congratulated Pinarayi Vijayan for winning the Kerala Assembly elections.
I would like to congratulate Shri @vijayanpinarayi and the LDF for winning the Kerala Assembly elections. We will continue working together on a wide range of subjects and to ensure India mitigates the COVID-19 global pandemic.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 2, 2021
After a win with huge votes, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said “The people of Kerala have once again reposed faith in the Left front. But this is not a time to celebrate due to the large spread of Covid-19. We have to continue to fight against Covid-19.”
Effective implementation of welfare schemes has helped chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan lead the Left Democratic Front (Lto DF) to rewrite history and return to power in Kerala. Kerala alternates between UDF and LDF even when governments perform reasonably well.
Besides, the campaign of the BJP in key segments which the party had hoped to win in a triangular contest was rooted in extravaganza and indulgence. The helicopter shown of Mr. Surendran was received with sarcasm. The tirade of the state leadership against leaders of other political parties with no seriousness had the opposite of the desired effect.
The candidacy of metro man E. Sreedharan in Palakkad and Suresh Gopi in Thrissur has encouraged the drooping portrayal of the group-ridden party to collect votes from different sections of the community, but the vehement Hindutva approach of candidates leads to Muslim groupage against them.
However, the BJP leadership can take consolation because the party increased its popular votes in multiple constituencies in the state making a trough in vote-share of both the CPI (M) and Congress.
As far as the Congress is concerned, on the other side one of its central ideological problems is that on issues like Sabrimala, it becomes ‘BJP-Lite’, embracing extremely conservative positions, unable to counter Hindutva. Also, it is accused by Christian interests as becoming a tail of the Muslim League and as unable to counter its oversized influence in the UDF. This is also compounded by an aging continuing awful representation of women in the Assembly with only 11 MLAs out of 140 (10 from the LDF).
Another important development was the victory of the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India candidate, KK Rema, against the Left Front. Rema is the widow of the former CPM leader, TP Chandrasekharan, who was assassinated by CPM activists. The mature electorate of Kerala gave Vijayan a landslide victory and simultaneously in an affirmation of ethics and justice, elected Rema, a fierce critic of Vijayan and the CPM.
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