The Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, seems to be heading for a huge setback in the 20 Lok Sabha seats for which initial trends are available.
According to initial trends, the United Democratic Front (UDF) is leading in 19 seats. However, the trend could change since these are early days with just a couple of counting rounds over.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has got the trend swinging in his party’s favour, leading by 49,000 votes in Wayanad constituency. Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) best bets were trailing. Former BJP state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan is trailing former Union minister Shashi Tharoor by about 5,000 votes in Thiruvananthapuram, while P K Surendren is trailing his Congress rival Anto Antony by over 11,000 votes in Pathanamthitta.
For the LDF, the only bright spot so far has been Alappuzha constituency, where its candidate A M Arif is leading by a slender margin.
The trends are a reflection of the performance of the LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan after assuming power in 2016. The LDF fell foul of the electorate, particularly the way it handled the flood situation in the state last year.
The Vijayan government also earned the wrath of Sabarimala Ayyappa devotees for trying to implement the Supreme Court ruling, allowing women of reproductive age to enter the temple.
The BJP was expected to cash in on the bitterness of the developments on the Sabarimala issue, and the results that will likely be available by evening should reveal how much the national party has gained.