Kerala Assembly Elections 2021 results | Live updates

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan watches counting of results of Kerala Assembly Elections 2021.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The electoral history of Kerala saw a watershed event on Sunday as the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, romped home in the Assembly election. The verdict dismantled the familiar pattern of the two major fronts led by rivals Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Congress alternately coming to power.

The familiar arrangements in the bipolar order of electoral politics in the State were overturned with the LDF securing continuity of governance, a scenario captured by its campaign catchphrase ‘Urappanu LDF’ (It’s LDF for sure). The LDF swept the election by winning 99 of the total 140 seats in the Assembly. The LDF’s historic victory even surpassed its own calculations.

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Here are the latest updates from Kerala.

9:00 p.m.

PM Modi congratulates Pinarayi Vijayan and BJP cadre

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out his wishes to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his party's victory in the elections. "We will continue working together on a wide range of subjects and to ensure India mitigates the COVID-19 global pandemic," he wrote on Twitter.

 

8:45 p.m.

UDF wins a nail-biting contest in Tripunithura

In a nail-biting contest that went right down to the wire, K. Babu of the United Democratic Front defeated incumbent MLA and the Left Front Candidate M. Swaraj who put up a valiant fight by a whisker of 992 votes.

While Mr. Babu secured 65,875.votes, Mr. Swaraj ended up with 64,883 votes. K.S. Radhakrishnan of the Bharatiya Janata Party performed way below par and managed only 23,756 votes.

The contest promised to be see-saw battle right from the outset and lived up to that billing.  Though Mr. Babu led, albeit marginally, almost right through except at the end of round four of the 16 rounds when he conceded a lead of a mere 9 votes. While he restored the lead in the following rounds he never succeeded in securing a runaway lead as Mr. Swaraj always kept him in sight and even managed to bring it down to as little as 203 at the end of the 14th round.

However, Mr. Babu eventually managed to cross the line and wrest the seat back from Mr. Swaraj who had defeated him by 4,467 votes five years back when he was under the cloud of the bar bribery scam.

6:50 p.m.

IUML succumbs to the red wave in Guruvayur 

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) failed to survive the red wave in Guruvayur. N.K. Akbar of the CPI(M) won in the constituency for 18,268 votes against IUML candidate KNA Khader at Guruvyaur.

As the lone seat allotted to the IUML in Thrissur district, Guruvayur was a prestigious seat for the IUML.  In 2016, CPI(M)’s K.V. Abdul Khader won for 15,098 votes against P.M. Saddiq Ali of the IUML.  

The Guruvayur constituency, known for the presence of the famous Sreekrishna Temple,  drew attention in this election when the nomination paper of the NDA candidate was rejected during scrutiny. Without a candidate, the BJP decided to back Dileep Nair of the Democratic Social Justice Party.  Both the LDF and the UDF were curious about the 25,000-odd votes the BJP secured in the last Assembly election.

Once considered as an IUML bastion, film maker P.T. Kunjumohammed, an Independent candidate with the LDF support, stopped the winning march of the IUML at Guruvayur in 1994. Since then, the constituency had stood with the IUML only once in 2001. K.V. Abdul Khader of the CPI(M) won thrice from the constituency. It had sent the league leaders such as B.V. Seethi Thangal, P.K.K. Bava and P.M. Abubacker to the Assembly.

Eying on the sizeable Muslim votes in the constituency, especially in the coastal belt, both fronts used to field Muslim candidates in Guruvayur.

6:45 p.m.

Photo finish for LDF in Thrissur

In a nail biting finish, P. Balachandran of the LDF won in Thrissur Constituency with a slender margin of 946 votes.

The lead position was changing in each round in the constituency, where high profile candidates locked horns in the election. Though UDF’s Padmaja Venugopal won a slender lead initially, she was soon pushed to third position when NDA’s Suresh Gopi managed to maintain a lead. Mr. Gopi even gave an impression of winning the seat for sometime.

However, LDF’s P. Balachandran, who was trailing behind in the initial rounds of counting, gave a shudder to both the UDF and the NDA camp in the final lap to win, though with a small margin.

6:30 p.m.

LDF faces setback in Koduvallly

The Left Democratic Front’s strategies to retain the Koduvally assembly constituency by fielding sitting MLA and IUML dissident Karat Razak faced a setback following the victory of M.K. Muneer with a majority of 6,344 votes. Dr. Muneer secured 72,336 out of the 1, 51,154 votes polled in the constituency. Mr. Razak got 65,992 votes.  

The confidence factor of the UDF during its high-volt campaign in Koduvally was the lead it gained in the recent local body elections. The Koduvally municipality and the other six grama panchayats had stood by the UDF, which was then claimed to be a clear indicator of their victory.

The UDF campaigners had also claimed that the recent controversies associated with the LDF over the gold smuggling case and its alleged links with the already fielded candidate could change things in favour of them. “The voters know everything and they will make the right decision,” was their response.

Candidate profiles

Anwar Sadath – Aluva

Anwar Sadath seems to have made winning a habit even amidst the downfall of many other Congress candidates this election.

He kept Aluva safe in the account of the United Democratic Front by earning a hat-trick win after defeating Shelna Nishad of the Left front by over 18,600 votes. The 46-year-old Mr. Sadath had won the constituency in 2016 by a margin of 18,835 votes against V. Saleem of the CPI (M). He entered the Assembly after defeating A.M. Yousuf of the CPI (M) in 2011 by a margin of 13, 214 votes.

Mr. Sadath started his political career as the unit president of the Kerala Students Union at the SNDP High School in Aluva. He later served as the block secretary and district secretary of the Youth Congress. Mr. Sadath was also member of the Chengamanadu grama panchayat and district panchayat representing the Nedumbassery division. He won the Nedumbassery constituency in the panchayat election held in 2004.

Roji M John – Angamaly

The electorate in Angamaly has once again reposed its faith in Roji M. John. The 39-year-old Congress candidate earned his second consecutive win after defeating Jose Thettayil of the Janata Dal (S) by over 13,500 votes. Mr. John had tasted its first Assembly win in 2016 when he defeated Benny Moonjely of the Janata Dal (S) by a margin of 9, 184 votes.

He started his political career after getting elected as chairman of the Sacred Heart College, Thevara in 2001. Mr. John was elected as councillor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union in 2005. In 2006, he was elected as secretary of the National Students’ Union of India JNU chapter. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took the lead in appointing Mr. John as the national president of the NSUI in 2014.

6 p.m.

UDF retains Thrikkakara as PT Thomas wins

The United Democratic Front retained the Thrikkakara assembly constituency with P. T. Thomas, incumbent MLA, winning with a margin of 14,329 votes after bagging a total of 59,839 votes.

Dr. J. Jacob, the LDF-backed Independent bagged 45,510 votes and T. S. Saji of the BJP bagged 15,483 votes. Terry Thomas of Twenty20 bagged 13,897 votes and Riyaz Yusuf, an Independent, bagged 298 votes. A total of 1,36,846 votes were polled.

The Thrikkakara assembly constituency has returned Congress party candidates to the assembly on both previous occasions after it came into existence in 2011.

5.55 p.m.

Anoop Jacob  wins with a thumping majority in Piravom

United Democratic Front (UDF) has retained the Piravom Assembly constituency, one of its bastions in the Ernakulam district with Anoop Jacob, Kerala Congress (Jacob) group leader and sitting member of the constituency pulling off a hattrick victory over Kerala Congress (M) candidate Sindhumol Jacob.

Mr. Jacob has maintained his winning streak by defeating his LDF rival by a thumping margin of 25364 votes.

While Mr. Anoop secured 85056, Ms Jacob got 59692 votes.BJP candidate, M.Ashish was able to secure only 11021, less than the votes polled by constitutuent of the National Democratic Alliance in the last assembly elections. The elections witnessed a voter turnout of 72.46% as against 80.38 percent in the 2016 assembly elections.

5.50 p.m.

Jaleel defeats Firos Kunnamparambil in a cliffhanger in Thavanur

In a keenly fought contest, LDF incumbent and former Minister for Higher Education K.T. Jaleel defeated UDF’s Firos Kunnamparambil in Thavanur constituency.

Mr. Jaleel had trailed behind Mr. Kunnamparambil until the last few rounds of counting, giving jitters to the LDF camps in the district. Mr. Jaleel has been widely considered a trump-card of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Malappuram district.

The last few rounds of counting turned the table in favour of Mr. Jaleel, and gave him a victory margin of 3,066 votes.

5.40 p.m.

Xavier Chittilappailly gets lifeline in Wadakkanchery 

The United Democratic Front (UDF) lost its sitting seat in Wadakkanchery constituency in a tough battle fought between two young leaders over the controversial LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission project.

When the battle cost Anil Akkara, the UDF candidate, his sitting seat, the constituency gave a lifeline to Xavier Chittilappilly of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), a first timer in Assembly elections.  Xavier Chittilappilly won the seat for a majority of 15,168 votes.  

The controversial LIFE Mission Project was the key political issue highlighted by both the UDF and the LDF throughout the election campaign.  As the epicenter of the LIFE Mission housing project controversy, the election here was a mercury test for both the UDF and the LDF.

When the UDF alleged huge corruption in the project, the LDF accused the opposition, especially the sitting MLA Anil Akkara, of scuttling the housing project for the poor.  

Mr. Akkara has been the arch-rival of the entire LDF camp in the state ever since he raised corruption allegations against the LIFE Mission project. This must have consolidated the LDF vote share. 

“The verdict was a fitting reply to the UDF by the people for scuttling the development projects allotted to the constituency by creating unnecessary controversies and baseless allegations,” said Mr. Chittilappilly.

How can you expect people to support the UDF, when it openly declared to suspend the development projects, including LIFE Mission that offers safe shelter for hundreds, if it comes into power? he asked. 

It was a narrow escape for the UDF at Wadakkanchery in the 2016 Assembly election, when Anil Akkara won the seat for 43 votes against Mary Thomas of the CPI(M).   It was the only seat the UDF won in the district in 2016.

In the 2004 by-election, constituency drew attention when the then Electricity Minister K. Muraleedharan failed against A.C. Moideen of the CPI(M), then a newcomer. Even in the last local body elections, the LDF won the Wadakkanchery Municipality and five panchayats. The UDF could win only two panchayats.  

5.25 p.m.

LDF wrests Kalamassery seat as P. Rajeeve wins convincingly

P. Rajeeve, senior CPI(M) leader, who wrested the Kalamassery assembly constituency from the UDF, cuts a cake with family members to celebrate the victory, May 2, 2021

P. Rajeeve, senior CPI(M) leader, who wrested the Kalamassery assembly constituency from the UDF, cuts a cake with family members to celebrate the victory, May 2, 2021   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

P. Rajeeve, senior CPM leader, former Rajya Sabha member and a secretariat member of the party in Kerala state committee, wrested the Kalamassery assembly constituency from the UDF with a convincing margin of over 11,100. He defeated V. E. Abdul Gafoor, son of the incumbent MLA V. K. Ebrahimkunju of the IUML, which is part of the United Democratic Front in Kerala.

The contest in Kalamassery constituency was a keenly watched one because Mr. Ebrahimkunju had withdrawn from the election scene after being named in a major scandal involving the building of the Palarivattam road flyover in Kochi. His son's candidature had also been opposed by a section of the UDF supporters and IUML party workers.

That the constituency had returned Mr. Ebrahimkunju to the assembly on both occasions after the assembly was constituted in 2011 adds glitter to Mr. Rajeeve's victory. Mr. Ebrahimkunju had won the seat in the last election with a margin of over 12,000 votes.

Mr. Rajeeve, who cut a cake with family members to celebrate the victory, said that the people of Kerala had wanted a continuation of the LDF rule in the state and that he was grateful to the people for the faith they had shown in the LDF government. He also said that the people had rejected the politics of corruption and that this was a victory for democracy. "People have defeated the culture of corruption through a democratic means", he told The Hindu.

 

There were seven candidates in the fray and the fierce rivalry made it a contest of note. Kalamassery is considered as the cradle of industrialisation in Kerala, which added to the eagerness with which the contest was watched across the state.

Mr. Rajeeve bagged 58,644 votes while Mr. Gafoor bagged 47,512 votes and P. S. Jayaraj of the NDA bagged 9,240 votes.

The voting percentage in 2016 was 81.29 while it came down to 75.81 per cent in 2021, which had worried the incumbent political front. A total of 1,54,882 votes were polled in 2016 and Mr. Ebrahimkunju bagged 44.37 per cent of the votes then while A. M. Yusuf of CPM bagged 37.55 per cent. BDJS' V. Gopakumar had bagged 15.65 per cent votes.

5.20 p.m.

LDF's T.P. Ramakrishnan wins in Perambra

LDF candidate and Minister for Excise and Labour T.P. Ramakrishnan trounced his UDF opponent and NRI businessman C.H. Ebrahim Kutty in Perambra assembly constituency with a whopping majority of 22592 votes on Sunday.

While Mr. Ramakrishnan secured 86,023 votes, Mr. Ebrahim finished in the second position with 63431 votes. In the third position, it was K.V. Sudheer of BJP who secured 11165 votes.

For LDF, Perambra was one of their sure seats considering the previous victories and the front’s unbeatable hold in all the 10 gram panchayats under the constituency.  Since 1980, the electorate had been maintaining its soft-corner for the Left.

According to LDF campaigners, the fight between a seasoned politician and a prominent NRI businessman had made the contest very exciting for voters in Perambra. Mr. Ramakrishnan who proved his capabilities as Minister for Excise and Labour had high hopes to beat his rival who was a new face in the constituency.  

Meanwhile, IUML sources said it was some of the internal issues in their party which reportedly spoiled their hopes in the electoral battle. Though there were other local candidates to take on Mr. Ramakrishnan, the party was denying ticket, they claimed.

5.15 p.m

LDF's Linto Joseph wins in Thiruvambadi

Left Democratic Front’s Linto Joseph emerged the winner with a majority of 4643 votes in Thiruvambadi assembly constituency on Sunday. Mr. Joseph secured 67,867 votes against UDF candidate C.P. Cheriya Mohammed who finished in the second position with 63,224 votes.

 

As expected, the support of settler voters turned out to be crucial for the victory of Mr. Joseph. By fielding a young candidate from a rural family, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was throwing in the toughest challenge to their UDF rival.  

 

For Mr. Joseph, the confidence factor was his image as an active youth volunteer. His role as the president of Koodaranhi panchayat had also helped him to prove his capabilities in his own village in a very short span of time.

LDF campaigners said they could evoke a very favourable response from the hillside voters by fielding a young candidate. They also acknowledged the support of the Thamarassery diocese, which was having an undisputable hold among the settler laity population to ensure the victory in favour of the LDF candidate.

Meanwhile, UDF leadership’s helplessness to consider a candidate of church’s choice was cited as one of the major reasons for their failure. Though the support of Jamaat-e-Islami was expected to come in favour of the UDF candidate, it did not bring any change in the voting pattern.  Mr. Mohammed’s influence in the electorate as a respected teacher also did not help him to relish success.

The victory margin of LDF’s George M. Thomas against his UDF rival V.M. Ummer last time was just 3008 votes. In the 2011 elections, it was UDF’s C. Moyinkutty who trounced Mr. Thomas for just 3883 votes. The constituency earlier believed to be a fortress of UDF witnessed a change with the entry of CPI (M)’s Mathai Chacko in 2006.

5.05 p.m.

LDF's K.P. Kunhammad Kutty wins in Kuttiyadi

LDF candidate K.P. Kunhammad Kutty has relished success in Kuttiyadi assembly constituency with a thin victory margin of 333 votes against sitting MLA and UDF candidate Parakkal Abdulla. Mr. Kunhammad Kutty won 80,143 votes after a close fight with the sitting MLA. Mr. Kunhammad who secured 79810 votes.

It was one of the key constituencies in Kerala where the Left Democratic Front took into account the sentiments of ground level party workers for shortlisting the most eligible candidates.

The sacrifice made by Kerala Congress (M) by giving up its allotted seat for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) nominee was also found contributing to the LDF’s victory.

LDF campaigners were very confident to stage a comeback in the constituency with the candidature of K.P. Kunhammad Kutty, a seasoned politician who had earlier proved his mettle as an approachable leader and Kozhikode District panchayat president. According to LDF campaigners, their last term defeat was just a slip between cup and the lip.     

In the last election, Kuttiyadi- the erstwhile Meppayur constituency- was a shocker for the LDF as it failed to overcome the UDF’s challenge. With a thin victory margin of 1157 votes, UDF candidate Parakkal Abdulla was trouncing LDF opponent K.K. Lathika. It was the end of a 25-year long unquestioned LDF dominance within the constituency.

4.45 p.m.

CPI (M)'s V. Sivankutty makes big gains in Nemom

CPI(M)'s V.Sivankutty celebrates his lead in Nemom, May 2, 2021

CPI(M)'s V.Sivankutty celebrates his lead in Nemom, May 2, 2021   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

 

The Bharatiya Janata Party has lost its sole seat in the Kerala assembly with CPI(M)'s V. Sivankutty gaining an unassailable lead of over 5000 votes over BJP's Kummanam Rajasekharan. Congress leader K.Muraleedharan, who had a much-hyped campaign launch, turned up a distant third.

 

Reacting to mediapersons after sealing his victory, Mr.Sivankutty said that the Left victory is an answer to BJP's electoral campaign claim that it will turn Nemom into Kerala's Gujarat.

 

"During the campaign, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the LDF will close BJP's account in Kerala. We have now implemented that promise. This victory is a result of the developmental and welfare measures by the LDF Government over the past five years, even amid calamities. Muraleedharan should resign from his MP post if he has any respect for democracy," said Mr.Sivankutty.

 

The result at Nemom in 2016, when BJP's O.Rajagopal won by a margin of 8,671 votes over Mr.Sivankutty had led to heated debates owing mainly to the erosion in the United Democratic Front (UDF)'s voteshare. The Congress, which had won the constituency with 60,884 votes in 2006 had given the seat to UDF ally Janata Dal (United), whose candidate V.Surendran Pillai could win only 13,860 votes in 2016, leading the left to accuse the UDF of handing over the constituency in a platter to the BJP. However, by fielding a heavyweight like K.Muraleedharan, the Congress sought to counter such accusations this time.

 

Though Muralidharan was expected to bring about a change in the UDF's fortunes this time, he has been trailing at the third place right from the initial phases of counting.

 

In Chelakkara, K Radhakrishnan of CPI (M) has won, beating Congress's C Sreekumar by a margin of 39,400.

In Devikulam, CPI (M)'s A Raja has defeated Congress's D Kumar.

Kozhikode South - Winner Ahmad Devarkovil of Indian National League.

Vadakara - Winner KK Rema of Revolutionary Party of India (Marxist)

4.15 p.m.

Shafi Parambil wins Palakkad, dashes 'Metroman' Sreedharan's BJP hopes

United Democratic Front (UDF)’s incumbent Shafi Parambil dashed the hopes of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to wrest Palakkad constituency through Metroman E. Sreedharan.

Mr. Sreedharan had gained lead over Mr. Shafi and Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s C.P. Pramod in the initial hours of counting, giving cheers to the BJP camps. His lead even went up to 7,000 at one time.

When Mr. Sreedharan had got his lead mainly from Palakkad Municipality, where the BJP is in power, Mr. Shafi began to make gains when the counting moved over to neighbouring panchayats.

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4.15 p.m.

Oomen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala say defeat was unexpected

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the United Democratic Front’s defeat at the hustings was unexpected.

However, triumph and defeat were twins, and he treated them equally. The UDF respected the will of the people.

When pressed that his lead in Puthupally had dwindled significantly, Mr. Chandy said his lead was lesser when he contested the Assembly for the first time from his home turf 50 years back.

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4.10 p.m.

LDF set to wrest Aroor constituency

After an initial seesaw battle, Left Democratic Front is set to wrest the Aroor Assembly constituency in Alappuzha from the United Democratic Front. When 10 rounds of counting were completed, Daleema Jojo of the CPI (M) extended lead over her nearest rival and sitting MLA Shanimol Usman by 3,921 votes.

4 p.m.

UDF leading in key constituencies in Ernakulam

The United Democratic Front was leading in Aluva, Angamaly and Perumbavoor constituencies in Ernakulam district as counting of votes entered the final stage.

Congress candidates Anwar Sadath has almost ensured his hat-trick win in the battle for Aluva constituency. He was leading by 12,084 votes against Shelna Nishad of the Left Democratic Front at the end of the eighth round of counting. Mr. Sadath had won the election in 2016 by a margin of 18,835 votes. A traditional citadel of the Congress, Aluva had bucked anti-incumbency and electoral swings to stand firm with the Congress for long.

Eldhose Kunnappilly was leading Perumbavoor by a margin of 1,767 votes against Babu Joseph of the Left front. He had won the constituency in 2016 by a margin of 7,088 votes.

Roji M. John was leading in Angamaly by a margin of 7,897 votes against Jose Thettayil of the Janata Dal (S). Mr. John, former national president of the National Students’ Union of India, had won the seat in 2016 after he defeated Benny Moonjely of the Janata Dal (S) by a margin of 9, 184 votes.

The United Democratic Front had enjoyed an edge over the Left front in the electoral history of Angamaly over the last five-and-a-half-decades. The UDF had also won the elections held for the Angamaly municipality in December.

3.55 p.m.

LDF extends winning streak in Central Travancore

Riding on the momentum it gained during the recent local body elections, the Left Democratic Front has extended its winning streak in Central Travancore with the CPI(M) led coalition almost confirming  victory in ten out of the 14 seats across Kottayam and Pathanamthitta.

 

With just the counting of postal ballots to be completed, the coalition has confirmed victory in the assembly segments of Changanassery, Ettumanur, Vaikom , Poonjar and Kanjirappally in Kottayam. In Pathanamthitta, the coalition has taken unassailable leads in four out of the five seats and is locked in a neck and neck battle with the UDF in Ranni.

In Pala, however, it has suffered a major set back with the Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K Mani suffering a shock defeat at the hands of the sitting legislator Mani C Kappan. In the three remaining assembly seats of Kaduthuruthy, Kottayam and Puthuppally, the UDF candidates won without much fuss.

Significantly, the coalition has also succeeded in bringing down the lead of the senior Congress leader Ooommen Chandy in Puthupally to 8504 votes from 27092 votes this time. Mons Joseph, who won  Kaduthuruthy by a margin of 42256 votes in 2016, too witnessed a sharp fall in his lead position to 3692 votes.

During the previous assembly elections, the LDF had won just two seats (Vaikom and Ettumanur) in Kottayam and four in Pathanamthitta. Despite suffering its worst-ever drubbing in the parliament elections in 2019, the coalition went on to win two more assembly segments -Pala and Konni, in the bypolls later that year.

3.30 p.m.

LDF maintain lead at Vypen, Kochi

LDF candidate in Kochi constituency K. J. Maxy celebrates his lead with party workers, May 2, 2021

LDF candidate in Kochi constituency K. J. Maxy celebrates his lead with party workers, May 2, 2021   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

The Left Democratic Front candidates continue to maintain their lead in Vypen and Kochi constituencies while the United Democratic Front hang on to a slender lead in Tripunithura constituency.

LDF candidates K.J. Maxy and K.N. Unnikrishnan have run up a lead of 9499 and 7216 votes respectively while UDF candidate K. Babu has a slender lead of 635 in Tripunithura.

All three constituencies had returned LDF candidates in the last election. Mr. Maxy has bagged 26,992 votes and Mr. Unnikrishann 42,179 votes. Mr. Babu had secured 24,663 votes.

BJP candidates have fared poorly in all three candidates. C.G. Rajagopal has managed only 7,133 votes in Kochi,  K.S. Shaju 10,511 votes in Vypen, and K.S. Radhakrishnan has managed only 12,422 votes in Tripunithura.

Twenty20 candidates Joby Chakalakal and Shiny Antony from Vypen and Kochi constituencies respectively managed only 14,726 and 3773 votes.

3.15 p.m.

Pinarayi maintains healthy lead at Dharmadom

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan continues to maintain a healthy lead at Dharmadom with 41,872 votes, with Congress's C. Raghunathan trailing with 24042 votes.

3.05 pm

Tight contest at Nilambur

In Nilambur, it is a close contest with LDF's PV Anwar only slightly ahead of Congress's VV Prakash. Prakash, unfortunately, died of a heart attack recently. If Prakash polls the most number of votes, Nilambur will have to go to polls again to elect an MLA through a by-election. If Prakash loses to Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s incumbent P.V. Anvar, then it will be a second term in succession for Mr. Anvar.

2.50 p.m.

Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate G. Stephen is on the cusp of pulling off a major upset at Aruvikkara constituency, taking an almost unassailable lead of 4400 votes against sitting MLA K.S.Sabarinathan of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Stephen, who grew up in party offices after being orphaned at a young age, has worked his way up from the grass roots, and was earlier elected as the head of a panchayat as well as a block panchayat.

 

UDF candidate and former Minister M.K. Muneer leads by 4756 votes against LDF supported independent candidate and sitting MLA Karat Razak in Koduvally assembly constituency. When eight of the 10 rounds of counting were completed, Dr. Muneer secured 56968 votes. Mr. Razak is trailing behind with 52212 votes according to the latest Election Commission figures.

2.45 pm

 

A lone CPI (M) supporter celebrates LDF's big lead at the party headquarters, May 2, 2021

A lone CPI (M) supporter celebrates LDF's big lead at the party headquarters, May 2, 2021   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

 

P. Balachandran of the LDF looks poised to win Thrissur constituency with a majority of 1215 votes. UDF candidate Padmaja Venugopal is in second position and Suresh Gopi of the NDA in third position.

2.35 pm

Close battle in Tripunithura

The see-saw battle continues unabated in Tripunithura constituency with neither UDF nor LDF in a position to guarantee victory.

When six out of the 15 rounds were completed accounting for 61,864 of the 1,55,036 votes polled, UDF candidate K. Babu hangs on to a slender margin of 635 against his LDF rival M. Swaraj.

Mr. Babu has so far polled 24,663 votes against 24,028 votes of M. Swaraj of LDF. Mr. Swaraj has only managed a slender lead of 9 votes since the counting started after he managed to overhaul the leads of 532, 1026 and 436 managed by Mr. Babu along the way.

K.S. Radhakrishnan of BJP languished in a distant third with just 12,422 votes.

2.30 p.m.

Thavanur heading for photo finish

In a keenly fought contest, UDF candidate Firos Kunnamparambil maintained a thin lead over former Minister for Higher Education K.T. Jaleel in Thavanur constituency.

As the counting entered the last phase, Mr. Kunnamparambil had a lead of nearly 1,000 votes over Mr. Jaleel.

Mr. Kunnamparambil maintained a slender lead over Mr. Jaleel from the beginning as the entire State viewed the counting of votes in Thavanur with eagerness.

In the 2016 Assembly election, Mr. Jaleel had defeated UDF’s Ifthiqaruddin Master by 17,064 votes in Thavanur. In 2011, Mr. Jaleel had defeated UDF’s V.V. Prakash by 6,854 votes in Thavanur, a constituency made up of Purathur, Thriprangode, Mangalam, Edappal, Vattamkulam, Kalady, and Thavanur grama panchayats.

Mr. Jaleel had begun his victory streak by defeating Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) heavyweight P.K. Kunhalikutty in Kuttippuram by 8,781votes. That was the last election held in Kuttippuram constituency, which disappeared in the 2008 delimitation.

2.25 p.m.

EC orders FIR over celebratory congregations in anticipation of poll victory

With the counting of votes underway, the Election Commission on Sunday said it has taken a stern view of reports of congregation of people to celebrate anticipated victory, and has asked the chief secretaries concerned to file an FIR in each case and suspend the police station in charge where such gatherings happen.

Responding to queries about reports of celebratory gatherings by supporters of political parties, an EC spokesperson said the poll panel has taken a serious note of some reports of congregations of people to celebrate anticipated victory.

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2.10 pm

Witness Kerala's victory at home, reminds Health Minister

Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is leading in Mattannur constituency, has reminded voters to abide by COVID-19 protocol and to witness LDF's victory from their homes.

Health Minister K.K. Shailaja has reminded people to adhere to COVID-19 protocol even as election results predict big win for ruling-LDF in Kerala

Health Minister K.K. Shailaja has reminded people to adhere to COVID-19 protocol even as election results predict big win for ruling-LDF in Kerala   | Photo Credit: Facebook/K.K. Shailaja

 

"Kerala won. Witness that win by staying inside your homes. I once again remind everyone not to forget COVID-19 protocols," she wrote on Facebook.

She also congratulated everyone for leading LDF to victory.

2 pm

M.M. Mani lauds his rival-and-friend after victory

A sportsperson-like camaraderie appeared to mark the electoral fight in Udumbumchola in the Idukki district.

Power Minister M.M. Mani claimed victory from the constituency for a second consecutive term by over 27,900 votes. His main rival E.M. Augusthy had conceded defeat after trends showed an overwhelming advantage for Mr. Mani early on.

Mr. Augusthy also said he would tonsure his head for a bet on the poll outcome.

Mr. Mani , however, wrote on Facebook: "I thank everybody. My friend E. M. August had put up a good fight. The situation in the constituency had reflected in the voting and not any personal failure of Mr. Augusthy. We would work together for the development of the constituency”.

1.50 pm

UDF firebrand leader V.T. Balram concedes defeat in Thrithala

In a keenly fought electoral battle between two young rival candidates in Thrithala, UDF’s incumbent V.T. Balram has conceded defeat to LDF’s M.B. Rajesh.

V.T. Balram

V.T. Balram   | Photo Credit: Spl

 

Mr. Balram, seeking a third term from Thrithala, faced a tough challenge in Thrithala as the CPI(M) fielded Mr. Rajesh against him. Mr. Balram, in a Facebook post he posted even before the counting was over, conceded defeat to his CPI(M) rival. "I humbly accept peoples' verdict in Thrithala. Best wishes to the new government," he wrote.

Mr. Rajesh was leading by 2,571 votes in Thrithala.

Thrithala had captured wide attention when the CPI(M) fielded its former Lok Sabha member Mr. Rajesh against Mr. Balram. For the CPI(M), which considers Mr. Balram as an ‘enemy of the party’, defeating him was a matter of prestige.

1.40 pm

Fortunes flicker for BJP in Nemom, Thrissur

BJP candidates Kummanam Rajasekharan and Suresh Gopi, who were both initially leading in their respective constituencies of Nemom and Thrissur, have dropped their leads to CPI(M) competitors V.Sivankutty and P. Balachandran.

However, with razor-thin margins, the results could very well swing either way.

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The third spot in both these constituencies are occupied by Congress heavyweights K. Muraleedharan and Padmaja Venugopal, who are, incidently, siblings.

1.30 pm

CPI(M) general secretary says Kerala had reposed faith in LDF

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the people of Kerala have reposed faith in LDF in an unprecedented manner.

Kerala had set a model for the rest of the country by effectively tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and pushing development and welfare simultaneously, he said.

He added that the State has a crucial role to play in defending the constitutional values and upholding federalism. “I salute the people of Kerala”, he said.

1.25 p.m.

Big gains for LDF's Sachin Dev in Balussery

State Secretary of Student Federation of India and LDF candidate in Balussery constituency K.M. Sachin Dev scored a whopping victory over actor Dharmajan Bolgatty, the UDF candidate, at a margin of more than 20,000 votes. 

As the counting of votes started, Mr.Bolgatty had maintained a slight lead in the beginning, but Mr.Sachin Dev soon came to the top. He had a lead of around 8000 votes when the fourth round was completed and by sixth round, he had a lead of more than 18,000 votes.

Sachin Dev had showed an advantage in the constituency much before the polls, especially since it is the sitting seat of Purushan Kadalundi of CPI-M, who had won rthe constituency in 2011 at a margin of 9,882 votes. He had increased the margin to 15,464 votes in 2016. Sachin Dev has outdone both feats to retain the constituency this time. The party had strong roots in the constituency known for its socialist lineage.

Congress candidate Dharmajan Bolgatty had several hurdles before him including strong protest from local Congress workers against his candidature. His being a non-local had worked against him. Mr.Bolgatty’s popularity as a comedian in Malayalam cinema had attracted a crowd in every meeting he attended. However, the crowd seems not to have translated into votes.

Libin Bhaskar was the BJP candidate in the constituency.

1.20 p.m

LDF's Ramakrishnan holds advantage in Perambra

LDF candidate and Minister for Excise and Labour T.P. Ramakrishnan is closer to a sweeping victory against his UDF opponent and NRI businessman C.H. Ebrahim Kutty in Perambra assembly constituency.

When ten of the 11 rounds of counting were completed by noon, Mr. Ramakrishnan attained a clear lead of 6,173 votes. He has so far secured 43,201 votes.

Mr. Ebrahim is continuing in the second position with 37,028 votes.  K.V. Sudheer of BJP has so far secured only 5,926 votes.

For LDF, Perambra is one of their certain seats considering the previous victories and the front’s unbeatable hold in all the 10 grama panchayats under the constituency.  Since 1980, the electorate has been maintaining its soft-corner for the Left.

In the 2016 elections, the victory margin of Mr. Ramakrishnan against KC (M) candidate Mohammed Iqbal was 4,101 votes. According to LDF campaigners, it would go high with the latest political tie-ups with KC(M).

1.15 p.m.

UDF expected to retain Piravom

United Democratic Front (UDF) is expected to retain Piravom Assembly constituency, one of the bastions of the UDF in Ernakulam district, going by the clear lead of 10,453 so far maintained  by Anoop Jacob, Kerala Congress (Jacob) group leader and sitting member of the constituency over  Kerala Congress (M) candidate Sindhumol Jacob.

While Anoop Jacob secured 38,936, Sindhumol Jacob got 28,483 when the seventh round of counting was completed. M. Ashish, BJP Candidate, managed to secure 5,811 votes till now.

Mr.Anoop is constesting from the constituency for the third time. Mr. Anoop won the 2016 Assembly elections by defeating CPI(M)'s M.J. Jacob by a margin of 6,195. While Mr. Anoop had secured 73,770 votes, Mr. Jacob got 67,575 votes. C.P. Sathyan, Bharath Darma Jana Sena, a constituent of NDA got 17,503. The elections saw a  voter turnout of 72.46% against 80.38 percent in the 2016 assembly elections. 

It appears to be a cakewalk for Anoop Jacob as the constituency is regarded as a fiefdom of T.M. Jacob, his late father who represented the constituency for five times - in 1977, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011.

1.10 p.m.

Former Minister K.T. Jaleel trailing in Thavanur

In a keenly fought contest, UDF candidate Firos Kunnamparambil established a lead over former Minister for Higher Education K.T. Jaleel in Thavanur constituency. When six rounds of counting were over, Mr. Kunnamparambil had a lead of 1,557 votes over Mr. Jaleel.

Mr. Kunnamparambil maintained a slender lead over Mr. Jaleel from the beginning as the entire State viewed the counting of votes in Thavanur with eagerness.

In the 2016 Assembly election, Mr. Jaleel had defeated UDF’s Ifthiqaruddin Master by 17,064 votes in Thavanur. In 2011, Mr. Jaleel had defeated UDF’s V.V. Prakash by 6,854 votes in Thavanur, a constituency made up of Purathur, Thriprangode, Mangalam, Edappal, Vattamkulam, Kalady, and Thavanur grama panchayats.

Mr. Jaleel had begun his victory streak by defeating Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) heavyweight P.K. Kunhalikutty in Kuttippuram by 8,781votes. That was the last election held in Kuttippuram constituency, which disappeared in the 2008 delimitation.

1.05 p.m.

Kovalam could become sole refuge for UDF in Thiruvananthapuram district

As vote-counting inched towards an end in Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam appeared poised to become the sole refuge for the Congress-led UDF in the district.

At the end of the fifth round, UDF candidate and incumbent MLA M. Vincent maintained a lead of 2,424 votes compared to veteran Janata Dal (Secular) leader Neelalohithadasan Nadar, who represented the LDF.

While Dr. Nadar had banked on the LDF government initiatives for the coastal community, Mr. Vincent focused his campaign on the deep-sea fishing controversy that has also appeared to have an impact in Kollam’s Kundara constituency, where Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma trailed behind P.C. Vishnunadh of the Congress.

1 p.m.

DYFI's Mohammed Riyas leads

Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) national president P.A. Mohammed Riyas, who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is leading by over 12,000 votes over his nearest rival, KPCC general secretary and Kozhikode Corporation councillor P.M. Niyas, in the Beypore assembly segment in Kozhikode district.

He had entered the fray after a hiatus following his debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Mr. Riyas said that he was confident of a win from the constituency as the electorate traditionally voted for the Left Democratic Front here.

12.55 pm

Ramesh Chennithala inching towards victory from Haripad

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress is inching towards victory from the Haripad Assembly constituency. Mr. Chennithala is leading by a margin of over 8,000 votes against his nearest rival R. Sajilal, one of the young faces of CPI.

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Haripad electorate has been loyal to Mr. Chennithala through the years. He had contested to the State Assembly from here in 1982, 1987, 2011, and 2016, losing not once. In the 2016 election, he had won by a margin of 18,621 votes.

12.40 pm

UDF  succumbs to the red wave in Guruvayur

The current trend in Guruvayur constituency indicates that the UDF will not be able to survive the red wave that is sweeping Thrissur district.

N.K. Akabar of the CPI(M) is leading by over 7,000 votes against IUML candidate K.N.A. Khader in the constituency. IUML is an alliance partner of Congress-led UDF. IUML's loss isn't entirely unexpected — though once considered an IUML bastion, the constituency has voted in an IUML leader only once since 1994.

However, as the lone seat allotted to IUML in Thrissur district, it was a prestigious seat for the party. Home to a sizeable Muslim population, especially in the coastal belt, both LDF and UDF usually field Muslim candidates in the constituency.

Guruvayur drew eyeballs earlier this year when the nomination paper of the NDA candidate was rejected during scrutiny. BJP had then backed Dileep Nair of the Democratic Social Justice Party, who is now at a distant third spot.

12.30 pm

Eldhose Kunnappilly has a slender lead in Perumbavoor

Perumbavoor is witnessing an intense battle between Eldhose Kunnappilly of the UDF and Babu Joseph of LDF.

Mr. Kunnappilly had a slender lead of 900-odd votes against Mr. Joseph at the end of third round of counting. He had won the constituency in 2016 by a margin of over 7,000 votes.

T.P. Sindhumol of BJP has over 4,000 votes while Chitra Sukumaran of Twenty20 has bagged around 3,000 votes at the end of third round of counting.

12.20 pm

Neck-and-Neck fight in Aroor

A neck-and-neck fight is underway between two women candidates in the Aroor Assembly constituency in Alappuzha.

Shanimol Usman.

Shanimol Usman.   | Photo Credit: Vipin Chandran

Sitting MLA and Congress candidate Shanimol Usman is leading by a slender margin of 365 votes against her nearest rival Daleema Jojo of the CPI (M).

Aroor was considered a citadel of the LDF until the 2019 Assembly bypoll when UDF's Ms. Usman won the seat for the party after a gap of 13 years. She defeated Manu C. Pulickal of CPI(M) by a margin of 2,079 votes.

No political front was expecting a cakewalk this time around.

12.10 pm

Attingal to remain with CPI(M)

Attingal constituency is expected to remain as a left citadel with the CPI(M)'s O.S.Ambika gaining a lead of over 5,000 votes over the United Democratic Front candidate A. Sreedharan of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) after three rounds of counting.

The CPI (M) has won the past three Assembly elections from the constituency.

12.05 pm

Pala — KC(M)'s lost citadel

Mani C. Kappen, a sitting legislator who knocked down the KC(M) fort in Pala during the 2019 by-election, is set to continue his winning streak.

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After five rounds of counting, he has assumed a lead of over 7,000 votes over the rival candidate and KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani. The Assembly segment, represented by the KC(M) continuously for 54 years till 2019, swayed to the Left in the last by-election, thanks to Mr. Kappan.

That by-election proved to be a turning point. It resulted in a complete reshuffle of the State's long-standing coalition equations with these two leaders effectively interchanging their roles. Despite the bypoll set back, Mr. Mani still kept his gavel in the party and oversaw KC(M)'s transition to the Left coalition. Mr. Kappan, in return, joined the rival coalition and floated a new outfit on his own – the Nationalist Congress Kerala.

The fight between these two leaders was so intense that Pala became one of the most keenly-watched seats even before the formal announcement of candidates by the rival coalitions.

12 pm

LDF poised for victory in Alappuzha

LDF candidate P.P. Chitharanjan of CPI(M) is poised for a victory in the Alappuzha Assembly constituency. With three quarters of the votes counted, Mr. Chitharanjan has taken a lead of over 13,000 votes against his nearest rival K.S. Manoj of the Congress.

The constituency has a history of supporting both LDF and UDF, and the Congress held the seat from 1996 to 2011. However, following a delimitation process, it tilted towards the Left with current Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac emerged victorious in 2011 and 2016 polls with comfortable margins. In the 2016 election, Dr. Isaac defeated his nearest rival Laly Vincent of the Congress by 31,032 votes.

11.55 am

IUML losing sitting seat in Kozhikode South

In Kozhikode South, IUML's gamble seems to have backfired as they are poised to lose the sitting seat after fielding a woman candidate for the first time in a quarter of a century. (To clarify, the IUML gamble mentioned here is the change in candidate rather than the fielding of a woman candidate per se.)

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Noorbina Rasheed, who has served as the councillor of Mukhadar ward of Kozhikode Corporation for five years, is currently trailing behind LDF's Ahmed Devarkovil.

The Muslim-majority segment, with the community forming over 60% of the population, had elected IUML in the last two Assembly polls held in 2011 and 2016. Previously, the Congress party, the CPI(M) and the Indian National League (INL), a breakaway faction of the IUML, have won from here.

11.45 am

Mukesh or Bindu Krishna? Kollam yet to choose

In the closely-watched contest in Kollam constituency where sitting MLA and actor-turned politician M. Mukesh is contesting against DCC president Bindu Krishna, the result has become unpredictable.

While Bindu Krishna has been leading in the early hours, at present M. Mukesh seems be to marching ahead.

Kollam is one of the seats that UDF is confident about winning, apart from Karunagapplly. NDA has so far polled only 643 votes in the segment.

11.35 am

All sitting Ministers except one leading

Except Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma, all ministers of the outgoing Cabinet (who contested in the Assembly elections) are leading in their constituencies. The results are yet to be confirmed as the counting is in progress.

Of those leading, Minister for Electricity M.M. Mani has the highest lead of over 20,000 votes in Udumbanchola in Idukki district (as of 11 a.m.). Other Ministers leading are CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom constituency in Kannur district, Health Minister K. K. Shyalaja in Mattannur, Minister for LSG A. C. Moideen in Kunnamkulam,  Minister for Excise T. P. Ramakrishnan in Perambara, Minister for Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran in Kazhakuttom, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran in Elathur, Minister for Ports Kadanappally Ramachandran in Kannur and K. Krishnankutty in Chitoor. 

Ms. Mercykutty Amma of the CPI(M) is trailing behind P.C. Vishnunath of Congress in Kundara as of now.

11.25 am

Nail-biting contest in Thrippunithura

A nail-biting contest is underway in Thrippunithuraconstituency where LDF candidate M. Swaraj has, for the first time, wrested the lead from UDF candidate K. Babu, albeit by a slender margin of 9 votes.

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Mr. Babu had initially improved his lead margin from 500+ to 1,000+ votes before it dropped down to a little over 430 votes. While Mr. Swaraj’s vote count stood at around 18,003, Mr. Babu was at 17,997 votes.

Meanwhile, BJP's K.S. Radhakrishan continues to be a distant third with 6,400 votes.

11.15 am

Poonjar votes out P.C. George?

Poonjar has thrown up an unpleasant surprise for veteran leader P.C. George, who had been the MLA of the constituency for the past 40 years. As per initial trends, LDF-backed Sebastian Kulathunkal is leading in the constituency by a margin of around 6,000 votes.

In the tightly-contested election, UDF had fielded Tomy Kallani who is now trailing by over 9,900 votes.

11.05 am

Why an LDF win would be historic for Kerala

If early trends are any indication, the electoral history of Kerala is all set to witness a watershed event as the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is poised to come to power again. This would mean the dismantling of a decades-old habit of the Kerala electorate which alternates between LDF, led by CPI(M) and UDF, led by Congress, every five years.

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The results coming from counting centres across the State indicate no anti-incumbency sentiment that would urge a change of guard, and Mr. Vijayan may well be credited with creating history by breaking the 40-year-old electoral trend.

The LDF, which went all-out in its election campaigning, is leading in 84 of the total 140 seats in the State. The pre-poll and exit polls predicted majority for the LDF. The early trends show that results are likely to remain true to those predictions.

10.50 am

UDF-stronghold Aruvikkara switches to LDF?

Aruvikkara, one of the United Democratic Front (UDF)'s strongholds in Thiruvananthapuram has thrown up a surprise with Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate G. Stephen taking a lead of 230 votes ahead of sitting MLA K.S.Sabarinathan after two rounds of counting.

The UDF has been winning from here since 1991, when Congress leader G.Karthikeyan wrested the seat from the LDF. He held the seat till 2015. After he passed away that year, his son Sabarinathan won the by-election and retained the seat by a bigger margin in the Assembly election the next year. He has been widely tipped to retain the seat, but the early leads point to a not so comfortable win or even an upset.

10.40 am

LDF leads in all constituencies in Thrissur

The LDF is leading in all the 13 constituencies in Thrissur district. The UDF had won one seat in 2016 when Anil Akkara won the Wadakkanchery constituency.

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As epicenter of the LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission housing project controversy, the election here is considered as a mercury test for both the UDF and LDF.

In 2016, UDF had narrowly wrested Wadakkanchery seat from LDF when Anil Akkara won the seat by a mere 43 votes against Mary Thomas of the CPI(M).

10.30 am

BJP's Surendran trailing in both seats

BJP State president K. Surendran, who had contested from both Manjeshwaram and Konni, is trailing in both seats.

Mr. Surendran was expected to do well in Konni, whose electoral politics underwent a huge shake-up following the Sabarimala protests in 2018. In the Parliament elections of 2019, the BJP had made significant gains from the segment though it was the Congress that held the lead.

Sabarimala had remained the key focus of its campaign while the coalition is also hoping the welfare schemes rolled out by the Union government to turn the tide in its favour.

CPI(M)'s K.U. Jenish Kumar is leading by a margin of over 2,000 votes against Congress' Robin Peter.

10.20 am

Shafi Parambil trails behind E. Sreedharan in Palakkad

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared set to make a historic win in Palakkad with Metroman E. Sreedharan taking an early lead in the constituency when two rounds of counting was over.

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Mr. Sreedharan had expressed confidence of a victory soon after the polling and said that he had got help from some Congress quarters. He even went on to announce opening up of an office in Palakkad to carry out the development activities that he promised to the people there.

Mr. Sreedharan has assured the people that he would convert the town into the best in the country in five years if he was given a chance.

When two rounds of counting was over, Mr. Sreedharan was leading by 3,000 votes over UDF incumbent Shafi Parambil. Mr. Shafi was seeking a re-election for the third term in Palakkad.

10.10 am

K.K. Rema leads in Vadakara over LDF candidate

One of the talking points from trends till now has been the lead maintained by UDF-backed RMPI candidate K.K. Rema in Vadakara Assembly seat in Kozhikode.

She has a lead of over 2,600 votes against LDF's Manayath Chandran.

Ms. Rema is the widow of slain Revolutionary Marxist Party of India leader T.P. Chandrashekharan. Her candidacy has often been portrayed as an act of vengeance against CPI(M) workers who murdered her husband, a CPI(M) dissident.

10 am

Suresh Gopi leading in Thrissur

Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi, who has contested under BJP ticket from Thrissur constituency, is leading for by a little over 300 votes against UDF candidate Padmaja Venugopal.

Mr. Gopi had failed to live up to expectations in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when T.N. Prathapan of the Congress earned a thumping victory. Ms. Venugopal, meanwhile, is fighting from a city that was her father's (former CM K. Karunakaran) long-standing political base.

LDF’s P. Balachandran, a popular face in the socio-cultural scene in the district, is trailing in the third spot.

The BJP, which has put the Thrissur seat in the A-plus category, had been adamant about fielding a candidate with a star image. Mr. Gopi had made a dramatic landing in a helicopter and marched to the Collectorate, accompanied by a motor rally, to file nomination papers.

9.55 am

'Metro-Man' leading in Palakkad

BJP's star candidate E. Sreedharan, popularly known as the 'Metro Man', has taken an early lead over UDF candidate and incumbent Shafi Parambil in Palakkad. The BJP had at one point projected the octagenarian as its CM candidate before retracting the statement.

Mr. Sreedharan is leading by over 1,500 votes in the initial round of counting.

In Malampuzha, LDF's A. Prabhakaran is leading by around 2,000 votes over NDA's C. Krishnakumar, and in Mannarkkad, UDF candidate N. Shamsuddin is leading by nearly 1,700 votes over LDF's K.P. Suresh Raj.

9.50 am

Nemom a ray of hope for BJP

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan has taken a slender lead in Nemom constituency, the party's only sitting seat in Kerala. Mr. Rajasekharan, who was the former Governor of Mizoram, is the former president of the party's State unit.

He leads by 470 votes over CPI(M)'s V. Sivankutty. Congress's heavyweight candidate K. Muralidharan (son of former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran) is in the third place.

The BJP had won a seat in Kerala Assembly for the first time in 2016 when O.Rajagopal defeated Mr. Sivankutty by 8,671 votes at Nemom. That election was plagued by accusations that Congress had knowingly fielded a weak candidate to ensure that CPI(M) loses the seat.

9.40 am

Initial counting trend favours LDF

Initial counting trends appear to suggest a clear lead for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala. 

The ruling coalition is leading in at least 80 Assembly segments at 9 a.m.

Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is a front runner in 58 constituencies. The National Democratic Front (NDA) is ahead in three constituencies.

Election authorities have enumerated only a fraction of the votes polled. The majority of them are postal ballots. The vote margins are razor-thin and could change.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are among those who have established an early lead.

9.30 am

A counting unlike any other

Streets leading to the counting station at Govt Girls’ Higher Secondary School Ernakulam are empty and the police have put up barricades to prevent people from gathering.

Streets leading to the counting station at Govt Girls’ Higher Secondary School Ernakulam are empty and the police have put up barricades to prevent people from gathering.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

 

With the State government taking a strict stance against crowding by the general public on the day of counting of votes, the streets leading to the counting station at Govt Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Ernakulam are empty and the police have put up barricades to prevent people from gathering.

Taking into account the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission of India had banned victory processions after the declaration of election results.

Additionally, the State govt. has made COVID-19 negative certificates mandatory for all personnel drafted in for counting and media persons covering the electoral event.

9.20 am

Slim initial lead for CM Vijayan in Dharmadom

Kerala Chief Minister and LDF candidate Pinarayi Vijayan is leading with a slim margin in Dharmadom constituency in Kannur, according to initial reports.

Kerala Chief Minister and CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan photographed after casting his vote at Pinarayi, Kerala, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Kerala Chief Minister and CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan photographed after casting his vote at Pinarayi, Kerala, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: C.P. Sajit

 

Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is contesting as LDF candidate from Mattanur constituency, too is leading with an initial 250-vote lead.

Illustrating the neck-to-neck nature of counting, UDF candidate from Kannur constituency, Satheesan Pacheini, took a lead in the first 15 minutes of counting. However, LDF candidate Kadanapally Ramachandran soon caught up with him, and is currently leading by 87 votes.

9.10 am

Who will Koduvally choose this time?

The battle is hotter this time in Koduvally with the presence of Indian Union Muslim League’s trump card and former minister M.K. Muneer against the sitting MLA and LDF-backed independent Karat Razak.

UDF's confidence stems from its excellent performance in the recent local body elections. The Koduvally municipality and the six other grama panchayats now stand with the UDF. The party is also hopeful that the controversies surrounding the gold smuggling case and the LDF candidate's alleged link to it will be rewarding for them.

For the LDF, the main hope is the increased number of dissidents within the IUML. The initial disagreements over Dr. Muneer’s candidature in Koduvally come as an advantage for the LDF. The constituency, where the UDF enjoyed continuous victory from 1957 to 2001, has weakened its resistance towards the Left, they claim.

It was in 2006 that the electorate first shocked the UDF. LDF-backed independent P.T.A. Rahim’s victory with a majority of over 7,500 votes had stunned the dominant party, and though the UDF’s V.M. Ummer captured the constituency in 2011 with a margin of over 16,000 votes, the electorate witnessed a ‘U’ turn again in the 2016 elections. LDF-backed independent Karat Razak captured the constituency with a thin margin of mere 573 votes against UDF candidate M.A. Razak.

9 am

Will Twenty20 play kingmaker in Perumbavoor?

A close race is expected in the battle for Perumbavoor constituency in Ernakulam.

The winner is likely to be decided by Chitra Sukumaran, candidate of the apolitical outfit Twenty20. Eldhose Kunnappilly, sitting MLA of the Congress, had won the constituency in 2016 by a margin of over 7,000 votes.

Twenty20 seems hopeful of making dents in the traditional vote banks of LDF and UDF this time. Their performance in the local body elections held in December (in which the party had won eight seats in Vengola panchayat) has fuelled the party's expectations.

The Congress camp has placed Perumbavoor among the few constituencies in Ernakulam in which it cannot predict a win. However, the campaign managers are hopeful that they will sail through in the last round.

Babu Joseph of the Kerala Congress (M) is the Left candidate while the Bharatiya Janata Party had fielded T.P. Sindhumol. The constituency had recorded 84.25% polling in the election held on April 6.

8.50 am

Testing times for UDF in Ernakulam

The counting of votes for Ernakulam Assembly seat, has started. The seat is long-considered as a UDF stronghold.

The constituency was represented by T.J. Vinod, the Ernakulam District Congress Committee president and former Deputy Mayor of Kochi, for the past one-and-a-half years. Mr. Vinod was elected as the legislator in a bypoll held in 2019 when the Congress fielded MLA Hibi Eden to the Parliament seat.

Mr. Vinod might continue the Congress legacy in the constituency but with a reduced margin.

Meanwhile, LDF has fielded Shaji George Pranatha, a publisher and social activist, to wrest back the seat.

The 2016 election witnessed Mr. Eden scripting an emphatic win in the constituency by a margin of over 21,000 votes. Of the 1,10,508 votes polled that time, Mr. Eden bagged the support of over 57,000 voters.

8.30 am

Number of postal votes go up in Kozhikode

The counting of votes for the 13 Assembly segments in Kozhikode district commenced at 8 a.m. today.

Unlike the 2016 elections, the number of postal votes has gone up this time.

The postal votes received in the district were over 63,000 — five times higher than that of the previous polls. As a result, the counting of votes polled in EVMs have started before before the completion of counting of postal votes. They are both taking place simultaneously now.

To adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, the number of polling booths have also gone up this time, which means that it takes about 20 to 25 minutes to finish a round of counting.

Although the first leads are expected to be known by 9 a.m., the declaration of final results will likely be delayed.

Employees deputed for counting duty reached their designated venues at 6 a.m. The officials, as per norms, took an oath of secrecy before the counting began.

8 am

Postal ballots first, EVMs to follow

The counting of votes is set to begin in a few minutes across Kerala.

The final arrangements are progressing in the 633 counting halls in 114 centres. The storage rooms where the electronic voting machines (EVM) were stored after the April 6 polls were opened at 6 a.m.

Evms being taken from strong room to counting hall in Thiruvananthapuram

Evms being taken from strong room to counting hall in Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: PRD

The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m. By 8.30 a.m., the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM) will also will begin.

Kerala had registered a voter turnout of 74.06% in the April 6 polls. Of the total electorate of 2,74,46,039 in the State, 2,03,27,893 exercised their franchise. The ECI had distributed a total of 5,84,238 postal ballots  to various voter categories including 80-plus voters, persons with disabilities, COVID-19 patients, people employed in essential services and polling officials.

7.50 am

Kalamassery is a keenly-watched contest

The contest in the Kalamassery Assembly constituency is a keenly watched one with senior CPI(M) leader P. Rajeev of the LDF pitted against the son of sitting MLA V. K. Ebrahimkunju, V. E. Abdul Gafoor of the IUML as his closest rival.

The constituency has returned IUML's Mr. Ebrahimkunju to the Assembly on both occasions after the Assembly was constituted in 2011. There are seven candidates in the fray in 2021 and the fierce rivalry between the UDF and LDF for the constituency has made it a contest of note.

Mr. Ebrahimkunju is one of the accused in the Palarivattam flyover building scandal and the issue has pushed Kalamassery into the limelight across Kerala. P. S. Jayaraj of the BDJS, which is part of the NDA, is another key participant in the seven-cornered contest.

The voting percentage in 2016 was 81.29%. It came down to less than 80% in 2021, which was considered worrying by the incumbent political front. A total of 1,54,882 votes were polled in 2016 of which Mr. Ebrahimkunju had bagged 44.37% while A. M. Yusuf of CPM bagged 37.55%. BDJS' V. Gopakumar bagged 15.65% votes.

7.30 am

Quick look

The votes will be counted in 633 counting halls across 114 centres, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Thursday. The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m., and the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM), at 8.30 a.m.

About 2.74 crore voters exercised their franchise on April 6 as Kerala went to polls where 69.95% turnout was recorded.

In Kerala, the BJP and the Congress promised to keep the Sabarimala shrine out of bounds for women of menstruating age citing tradition while the LDF quietened its stance fearing a Hindu backlash. A constituent of the LDF said ‘love jihad’ was a matter of concern.

Read Editorial | Much is at stake for Left and Cong. in Kerala

Listen: Can the Left front beat a communal campaign to make history in Kerala | The Hindu In Focus Podcast

Watch: What's in store for Kerala?

 

Kerala gears up for Assembly poll results

Kerala is bracing itself for the outcome of the Assembly elections on Sunday.

The counting for the 2021 Assembly elections is unlike any other in the State’s history. The celebratory atmosphere that marks the tallying of votes will be conspicuously absent due to the COVID-19 ban on public jubilation.

Party workers will confine displays of triumph and despair largely indoors. The tabulation of votes will take more time, given the many postal ballots. The long wait for the results since polling day on April 6 has put political parties on tenterhooks.

Pre-poll and post-poll surveys had given the Left Democratic Front (LDF) a lead over the Congress-led United Democratic Front (LDF) Opposition.

However, the UDF has stiffly contested the poll predictions. 

Read more
 

 

Elaborate arrangements for counting in place in Kerala

The counting of votes polled in the April 6 Assembly elections in the State scheduled for May 2 is designed to be an elaborate exercise, given the need to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines.

The votes will be counted in 633 counting halls across 114 centres, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Thursday. The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m., and the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM), at 8.30 a.m.

The number of counting halls has in fact gone up from 140 last time, Mr. Meena said. The number of halls was increased as the Election Commission of India asked States to reduce the number of tables per hall from 14 to seven to meet physical distancing norms. This effectively means, three to four halls for each assembly segment.

Read more
 

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 10:09:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/kerala-assembly-elections-2021-results-live-updates/article34462352.ece

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