Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 1 (ANI): Counting will be held in Kerala for assembly polls on Sunday keeping in view COVID-19 protocols with the Election Commission having made the necessary arrangements.
The exit polls have indicated that the ruling LDF will create history by getting re-elected but leaders of Congress-led UDF have rejected these surveys and expressed confidence of their alliance coming to power in the southern state. LDF leaders have said that the exit polls reflect the acceptability of ruling alliance among people.
The counting will be held as the state reels under high cases of COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic.
Kerala has been seeing Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alternatively coming to power for nearly four decades. If the LDF bunks the trend under leadership of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, it will be scripting history. The BJP also made efforts to increase its footprint in the southern state.
The counting of votes for 140 member assembly will begin at 8 am. The polling was held in a single phase on April 6.
LDF includes CPI(M), CPI, Kerala Congress(M) and some other smaller parties whereas UDF comprises Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party and other smaller parties. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has Bharath Dharma Jana Sena as its ally.
Exit polls have given varying margins for LDF victory.
ABP-CVoter exit poll predicted LDF to get 71-77 seats, UDF 62-68 seats and BJP 0-2 seats, while India Today-Axis My India exit poll said LDF would to get 104-120 seats, UDF 20-36 seats, BJP+ 0-2 seats and others 0-2 seats.
Today's Chanakya said LDF is likely to win 93-111 seats, UDF 26-44 seats, BJP+ 0-6 seats and others 0-3 seats. Republic-CNX predicted LDF to win 72-80 seats, UDF 58-64 seats, BJP+ 1-5 seats. Jan Ki Baat exit poll predicted 64-76 seats for LDF, 61-71 for BJP+ and 2-4 for others.
Vijayan has steered the state through several challenges in the past five years including COVID-19. If exit polls hold true, the 76-year-old CPI-M leader could become only the third Chief Minister in Kerala's history to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term.
Vijayan is contesting from Dharmadam, BJP state president K Surendran from Manjeshwar and Konni, Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala from Haripad and Oommen Chandy from Puthuppally.
BJP has fielded metro man E Sreedharan from Palakkad. Other prominent candidates include Minister of Health KK Shailaja from Mattanur, Minister for Water Resources K Krishnankutty from Chittur and Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan from Kanhangad. (ANI)