CPM-led LDF all set to retain power in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: When the counting of postal votes for the Kerala assembly polls is about to be completed, the Left Front has taken a comfortable lead. Trends at 11 am show that LDF is leading in 92 seats, UDF is ahead in 46 seats and NDA in 2 seats.

A total of 4,56,771 postal ballots were returned to the returning officers till Saturday. Compared to previous years, postal ballots are high in number. Hence, it is observed that a clear picture of the final results will come out with the completion of counting of postal ballots. The initial trends in the counting of votes in EVMs during the first hour also hinted this fact.

Early leads show that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was leading by over 4000 votes in his home turf against his nearest rival C Raghunathan of the Congress, according to Election Commission figures.

Ministers, K K Shailaja, A C Moideen, E Chandrasekharan, Kadakampally Surendran and M M Mani were leading in their respective constituencies, while their cabinet colleagues T P Ramakrishnan and J Mercykutty Amma are trailing.

LDF is leading in Kannur, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kozhikode constituencies. LDF candidate Sebastian Kulathunkal is leading by 5900 votes as per initial trends in Poonjar. Independent candidate P C George, who has been the MLA of Poonjar for the past 40 years, is trailing.

In Palakkad, NDA candidate E Sreedharan was able to bag a sizeable number of postal votes and was able to maintain a lead when the EVMs were opened. He is leading by 4000 votes at present. Sitting MLA Shafi Parambil is trailing in the seat.

As per the initial reports, LDF is leading in all five constituencies in Pathanamthitta. K U Janeesh Kumar in Konni is leading by over 4000 votes. In Aranmula, the lead of Veena George is below 100 votes. BJP state president K Surendran is in the third spot in Konni.

K T Jaleel, the former higher education minister who resigned recently following nepotism charges, was also trailing, as per the EC figures.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy maintained their leads in Haripad and Puthupally respectively.

BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan was also leading Nemom constituency. However, Rajya Sabha MP and actor Suresh Gopi was trailing in Thrissur.

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