This Article is From May 20, 2016

LDF Sweeps Kerala, BJP Opens Account In Assembly Elections

LDF Sweeps Kerala, BJP Opens Account In Assembly Elections

LDF workers celebrate party's win in Thiruvananthapuram.


  • LDF comes back in Kerala with 91 seats, UDF gets 47
  • CPM has to choose between VS Achutanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan for top job
  • BJP won its first seat at Nemom, near Thiruvananthapuram
New Delhi: The unfailing pendulum-like swing of Kerala politics has delivered the state to the Left-led Left Democratic Front, or LDF, unseating the Congress-led United Democratic Front, or UDF. The LDF won 91 seats -- an upward swing of 24 -- to the UDF's 47 seats. The question now is only whether Pinarayi Vijayan or his rival, 92-year old V S Achutanandan gets to be the Chief Minister.

An additional element in this usually two-sided contest was the BJP. The party has finally entered the state assembly with one single seat - Nemom, in the outrskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, won by 86-yerar-old O Rajagopal by over 8,000 votes.

Congratulating the party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted:

O Rajagopal won the lone BJP seat in Kerala from Nemom.

The BJP's presence added to the UDF's difficulties, with an estimated 15 per cent vote share going to the saffron party.  BJP state president, K Rajasekharan, told NDTV, "The state needs an alternative to the UDF, LDF."

BJP party workers were ecstatic with the single seat. Distributing payasam to passers-by and bus passengers in central Thiruvananthapuram, they told NDTV that this win was just the first step.

As the Congress lost one of the very few states where it was in power, party lawmaker Shashi Tharoor told NDTV that new, young leader would help the party and it was more a time for action, not just introspection.

"This is a vote against the corrupt and those who failed to protect the dignity of women," said senior CPM leader VS Achuthanandan .

Congress chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been hit by a series of corruption scandals involving some of his top aides and ministers. There has also been a barrage of criticism following a spate of crime against women, especially the horrific rape, torture and murder of a Dalit student.

Promising good governance, Mr Vijayan said, "We salute the people of Kerala for the faith they have reposed in us. We will fulfill the promises we have made".