According to data available as of 9.30 p.m, the Indian National Congress hung on to its healthy lead, winning in 11 constituencies and leading in 4, followed by the Indian Union Muslim League with 2 constituencies. The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) is leading only in one constituency so far.
The trends thus far are reflecting the exit polls prediction of the Indian National Congress winning around 15 seats in the State.
Here are the top highlights:
'LDF campaign on national issues benefitted the UDF'
CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan described the electoral setback as unexpected and said that the LDF campaign on national issues benefitted the United Democratic Front.
Mr. Balakrishnan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday that the party and front would review the results and rectify lapses, if any. Minority community votes went in favour of the UDF. The defeat of the Congress at the national level does not enthuse the Left. But it is heartening that the BJP could not open account in the State, he said. - Special Correspondent
Shashi Tharoor’s hat-trick of victories in the face of adversities
The political churn that the State witnessed over the contentious Sabarimala issue played a key role in Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor’s hat-trick of victories from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency in the face of several adversities. The outcome could also be attributed to the consolidation of votes by minority communities that was driven by a fear factor prevailing in a faith-driven political atmosphere.
Undercurrents favoured UDF in Pathanamthitta
With the counting of 67 % of the votes polled in Pathanamthitta, the sitting Congress MP, Anto Antony, has registered a strong lead of 35,446 votes.
Interestingly, Mr Antony has registered lead in six out of the seven Assembly segments in the Lok Sabha constituency. His immediate rival, Veena George of the CPI(M) could not even get lead in her own Assembly segment of Aranmula at any point of the counting process.
Interestingly, the BJP that had unleashed a bombastic Poll campaign, fielding the 'hero' of Sabarimala stir of the Sangh Parivar, K.Surendran, could register a slender lead only in the Konni Assembly segment.
'Arrogance of the LDF on Sabarimala issue helped Congress'
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee vice president and party candidate for the Kannur parliament constituency K. Sudhakaran has said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to resign owning responsibility for the rout of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the State.
Talking to reporters at the counting station on Thursday afternoon when his lead against his rival P.K. Sreemathy of the CPI(M) crossed 55,000 votes, he said that he would thank Mr. Vijayan for creating a political environment that helped the UDF victory in the State. The arrogance of the LDF government on the Sabarimala issue was a turning point that helped Congress, he said adding that the electoral outcome was also the people’s mandate against political violence perpetrated by the CPI(M) in Kannur and neighbouring areas.
Ramya Haridas gives LDF's biggest shock in Kerala
Ramya Haridas from Kunnamangalam in Kerala’s Kozhikode district conquered the hearts of Alathur people, delivering a big electoral upset for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala.
Ms. Ramya won the people’s heart the day she started campaigning in Alathur against the LDF’s incumbent P.K. Biju. Congressmen carried her on their shoulders, proudly proclaiming her as their “little sister”. She made a difference in the campaign by way of her affable approach and openly positive attitude.
Deadly blow to LDF, BJP in Kerala
The Lok Sabha election results have rendered a severe blow to the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which was hoping to win an impressive tally, and dashed the hopes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that had claimed to open its account in the State.
The LDF was forced to be content with one seat, Alappuzha. The ruling coalition lost its traditional bastions such as Alathur, Palakkad, Kannur, Kasargod, Vadakara and Attingal. While the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) got one seat, the CPI drew a blank. Right from the launch of the campaign itself, the LDF had been expecting to retain at least three seats in the south, and sustain its unchallenged supremacy in north Kerala.