LDF, UDF upbeat about forming govt

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Kerala went to the polls, the CPI(M)-led LDF and its rival, the Congress-headed UDF, on Wednesday were upbeat on forming the government, while the BJP-led NDA expressed hopes of becoming a prominent third front.

Polling to elect 140 MLAs to the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly was held on Tuesday.

LDF convener and CPI(M) state secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan told the media that the Left front will bag more seats this time.

"The Left Democratic Front will bag more seats than the last time. The Congress-faction will face the worst defeat this time. LDF and Jose K Mani will win the Pala seat. LDF will retain power," Vijayaraghavan said.

Party sources claimed the campaignfocusing on developmental aspects alone and avoiding controversies helped the Left front to garner votes.

Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran, who fought a fierce battle at Kazhakootam constituency where the BJP had fielded its firebrand leader Shobha Surendran, claimed the Left front got more votes than expected in Thiruvananthapuram district.

He said once the results are out, it will be clear that the Sabarimala matter was not an issue for the people of the state but development and welfare.

Kerala had witnessed violent protests by right wing activists after the LDF government decided to implement the 2018 Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, where traditionally women in the menstrual age group of 10-50 are barred from offering worship.

The UDF leaders, on the other hand, have been reiterating that the front will bag enough seats to return to power as the "people have voted for the UDF and against the anti-people rule of the LDF."

"All the allegations raised by us were true and the people know it.The voting trend of the people shows that they trust the opposition whichhas brought out the corruption and scams in the government," senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala told the media at Haripad.

The BJP-led NDA is hoping to bag at least one to three seats in the state compared to the one it got last time.

Nemom was captured by BJP which fielded veteran leader O Rajagopal in the 2016 elections.

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