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Kerala Assembly election result 2021 highlights: LDF under Pinarayi Vijayan set to return to power again

Kerala Election Results 2021 highlights: Under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the LDF is expected to finish between 95 and 100 seats, eclipsing its 2016 tally of 91 seats.

Written by Vishnu Varma | Kochi |
Updated: May 3, 2021 9:36:36 am

Kerala Assembly election result highlights: Latest trends available from the Election Commission show that the CPM-led LDF will buck the trend of incumbent governments not getting re-elected in the last four decades in the state. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the LDF is expected to finish between 95 and 100 seats, eclipsing its 2016 tally of 91 seats.

The Congress-led UDF, which had seen a glimpse of the mood of the voters during the local body elections last year, will once again have to play the role of the opposition in the next five years. It is expected to get somewhere between 40 and 45 seats.

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 seats, is staring at a drought. Senior leaders like Kummanam Rajasekharan, K Surendran, Sobha Surendran and E Sreedharan were all trailing in their respective seats at 4: 45 pm.

Read in Malayalam

Exit polls of local and national television networks had predicted unanimously last week that the LDF will be re-elected with varying degrees of margins.

Live Blog

Kerala election results 2021 highlights: Fate of Pinarayi Vijayan, K Muraleedharan, E Sreedharan and Ramesh Chennithala at stake in Dharmadam, Nemom, Palakkad and Haripad respectively. All eyes on how BJP performs.

09:36 (IST)03 May 2021
Kerala: LDF win could trigger change in all parties

The victory of the LDF marks the first time since the 1980s that an incumbent political combination has returned to power in Kerala. In doing so, the LDF has surpassed its earlier tally of 91 in the 140-member Assembly. How was electoral history rewritten in Kerala, and what are the key takeaways from Sunday’s results?

Vijayan’s leadership

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s strong and decisive leadership during the crises — floods and pandemic — that battered the state during the past few years contrasted sharply with the Congress-led UDF regime. Minorities, especially Muslims, saw Vijayan and the LDF as a bulwark against the emergence of the BJP in the state. The Chief Minister’s leadership, appreciated especially by women and the youth, was able to counter the disenchantment among sections of Hindus over his Sabarimala moves, which had contributed to the LDF’s rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. (Read Liz Mathew's explainer here)

21:23 (IST)02 May 2021
Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja wins from Mattannur.

Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja wins by a record margin of 60,963 votes from Mattannur. 

20:48 (IST)02 May 2021
K J Alphons loses from Kanjirappally

Former Union minister and BJP leader K J Alphons loses from Kanjirappally.

20:47 (IST)02 May 2021
Kadakampally Surendran wins from Kazhakootam

Kerala Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran wins from Kazhakootam by a margin of 23,497 votes.

20:47 (IST)02 May 2021
Congress' Ramesh Chennithala wins from Haripad

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala wins by margin of 13,666 votes from Haripad.

20:25 (IST)02 May 2021
'To a brighter future': Dulquer Salmaan congratulates Pinarayi Vijayan on poll win

Film actor Dulquer Salmaan congratulated Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on winning the State Assembly elections. "The past few weeks have been bleak to say the least. Everyday the news has been difficult to come to terms with. Amidst all of that today brought joy. Hearty congratulations to Hon. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his team for their historic win. You have shown exemplary leadership during some of the toughest times Kerala has faced and we look forward to a brighter future ahead," Salmaan posted on Facebook.

20:02 (IST)02 May 2021
'Metroman' E Sreedharan loses election from Palakkad

'Metroman' E Sreedharan of the BJP lost to Congress' Shafi Parambil by a margin of 3,859 votes in Palakkad.

18:36 (IST)02 May 2021
Arvind Kejriwal congratulates Pinarayi Vijayan on poll victory

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal congratulated Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan for the impressive performance of the ruling LDF alliance in the Kerala Assembly election results.

17:47 (IST)02 May 2021
Victory is the result of govt's policies and work: Pinarayi Vijayan

Claiming victory of the ruling LDF alliance in the Kerala elections, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said, "Our victory today is the victory of the people. We believe in the people and they have trust in us. That's why we have won more seats than 2016. We can go into the details of the election at a later time."

17:37 (IST)02 May 2021
Not the time to celebrate: Pinarayi Vijayan

"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 the fight against Covid-19," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on LDF's strong performance in the state elections.

17:27 (IST)02 May 2021
Thank people of Kerala for reposing faith in LDF govt: Sitaram Yechury

With the CPI(M)-led LDF set to return to power in Kerala, the party's general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a video message on Sunday thanked the state's electorate for showing confidence in the party and vowed that the Left party will continue to fight the challenges faced by people.

With the initial trends from the state showing the ruling LDF maintaining its lead in 88 of the 140 assembly constituencies in Kerala while the opposition Congress-headed UDF was ahead in 50 segments, as per trends available till 10.30 am, Yechury seemed confident that his party will emerge triumphant.

"I thank the people of Kerala for reposing faith in an unprecedented manner in the way that the previous LDF government tackled all the challenges that the people have faced and also the pandemic scourge. The government gave a Kerala model to the world on how to handle the pandemic," he said.

"The CPI(M)-led LDF will play its due role in this and we expect that the people of Kerala who have always stood up as one will continue to do so in a more stronger manner," he said. (PTI)

17:08 (IST)02 May 2021
RMP leader KK Rema leads from Vadakara

RMP leader KK Rema leads from Vadakara with 65,093 votes. 

17:06 (IST)02 May 2021
Kerala polls: LDF leads on 99 seats

Trends at 4:10 pm 

LDF - 99
UDF - 41
NDA - 0

15:25 (IST)02 May 2021
Oommen Chandy, ex-Congress CM, responds to defeat of party

Oommen Chandy tells reporters, "We will discuss with our colleagues and examine what happened. I have come to know that my majority is over 8000 votes. I don't know the panchayat-level trends. Congress has lost in the past, but has also returned to top form afterwards. "

15:06 (IST)02 May 2021
Close contests in Thavanur and Thripunithura

Tight contests are taking place between LDF and UDF candidates in Thavanur and Thripunithura. 

In Thavanur, outgoing LDF minister KT Jaleel is up against Firoz K of UDF. In Thripunithura, senior Congress leader K Babu is fighting against M Swaraj of CPM.

14:43 (IST)02 May 2021
Making their debut in the Assembly
14:28 (IST)02 May 2021
Palakkad, Nemom, Thrissur too tough to call

Leads are constantly swinging in three key constituencies where the BJP is a player: Palakkad, Nemom and Thrissur. In Nemom and Palakkad, the BJP candidates are currently in second position, trailing by a very small margin. In Thrissur however, the fight for the top is between CPI and Congress candidates. 

13:51 (IST)02 May 2021
VT Balram concedes defeat in Thrithala

After a nail-biting contest in Thrithala in Palakkad district, VT Balram of the Congress conceded defeat in a Facebook post. He has been defeated by CPM's MB Rajesh. He wished success for the new government of the LDF. 

13:19 (IST)02 May 2021
Big, big upset for Jose

Jose K Mani, who became the chairman of Kerala Congress (M) and subsequently tethered his party to the LDF after the death of his father KM Mani, is facing a humiliating defeat in Pala. In a seat represented by his father for over 50 years, Jose is trailing by over 9000 votes, a margin unlikely to be overcome. 

It's important to remember that Jose had resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat to enter the LDF and contest Assembly elections. In the event of the LDF winning, he was expected to even become a minister. But now, those hopes have dashed. His party though is leading in five seats. It had contested 13. 

13:09 (IST)02 May 2021
Photo-finish in Thrissur

If there's one seat which is heading for a nail-biting photo-finish, it's the urban seat of Thrissur. A triangular contest is underway between Suresh Gopi of BJP, Padmaja Venugopal of Congress and P Balachandran of CPI. As per current trends, Balachandran is ahead with Padmaja trailing him and Suresh Gopi in last place. This was one of the seats where the BJP had a lot of hopes of winning. 

Kerala Exit Polls

If the above exit poll numbers hold true, it will mean that there's no heavy anti-incumbency sentiment prevailing in the state to dislodge the Vijayan government. His administration has gathered a general sense of goodwill for its delivery of essential food kits to all ration-card holders during the Covid-19 lockdown last year as well as enhancing the monthly social welfare pensions to different kinds of beneficiaries such as differently-abled, elderly, widows and agricultural labourers.

Although its nature of raising money abroad has attracted censure of CAG and the Opposition, the LDF has tom-tommed the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) as a valid and transparent agency to push investments into key sectors such as education, health, roads and power. The government's handling of the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic last year had come in for praise from national and international healthcare experts, though the scale of the pandemic has risen dramatically this year.

The campaigns of the Congress and the BJP meanwhile have been thrust on a range of issues that include alleged corruption and nepotism within the administration, the 'betrayal' of sentiments of Hindus on Sabarimala, the colossal debt of the government and the spate of political killings.

The Congress particularly has attacked the government and the chief minister on the gold smuggling case, in which the CM's former principal secretary was arrested, the allegations of data privacy being violated in the Sprinklr case, the backdoor appointments to plum govt posts to those close to the CPM, and the recent deal purportedly signed with a US company to manufacture deep-sea fishing trawlers.

As for the BJP, it ran a high-pitched campaign, bringing in its star-power from the Centre such as PM Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, ministers Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and chief ministers like Yogi Adityanath. It's campaign, particularly in seats like Konni, Kazhakoottam and Nemom, rode on the emotive issue of Sabarimala.

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