Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 06 May 2021 6.04 PM IST

Fronts remain anxious; Kerala set for polls on Tuesday


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Tuesday, the people of Kerala will answer the big question raised by the tumultuous campaign period. On the ground where the three fronts fought hard, who will be handed over the crown of victory by the public who remained in the gallery till yesterday? With the fronts anxiously gleaming at the fingertips of 2.74 crore voters, Tuesday will be the judgement day.

The ruling LDF is hoping to retain power for a second consecutive term breaking the state's four-decades-old trend of alternating between the UDF every five years.

While the UDF is all confident to form their government when the results are out on May 2, the BJP-led NDA is leaving no stone unturned to garner the maximum number of seats to become a decisive force in the state's rule. The extent to which the NDA's vote share will increase will determine the fate of the Left and Right fronts in many constituencies.

While the Left camp reckons that the government's development and welfare achievements will be favourable, the UDF hopes that the allegations of corruption, including the Sabarimala and deep-sea fishing controversy, and the promises it has made in the manifesto will help. The BJP, which propagates that the Left government is reaping the benefits of the Centre in its own name, is posing a huge challenge to both the left and right fronts.

The Left Front is confident that it will be able to remain in power for the next 5 years. It is expecting to win in a minimum of 75 seats. On the other hand, the UDF believes that it can win a minimum of 78-82 seats. The NDA, which is confident of winning in Nemom, is hoping to win 10-13 seats.

Minority support

The fronts are also anxious about the support from minority communities. Both the LDF and the UDF hope that the issue of citizenship amendment will help them in the elections. The UDF reckons that the campaigns of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have favoured the minds of the Muslim community in Malabar.

The LDF, who projected themselves as the sole saviour of minority communities especially in Muslim-dominated Malabar (north Kerala) districts during the campaign, is calculating that their votes would be consolidated en-mass in their favour. They also accused the Congress of adopting a soft stand towards the Hindutva agenda to pick a hole in their vote-bank.

The Congress was seen reaching out to prominent figures and institutions related to Hindu, Christian and Muslim religions to ensure their support. The UDF believes that the deep-sea fishing controversy will help bring back the traditional Christian votes, including the Latin Church. The controversy raised by the opposition leader is likely to affect at least 45 coastal areas.

Besides wooing the majority community votes by promising a law to check 'love jihad' and protect the tradition of Sabarimala, the BJP also tried to reach out to the Christian community during the campaign.

Last blow, tactical blow

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran on Monday morning said that the CPM should support the UDF candidate to defeat the BJP in Manjeswaram. Later in the day, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and senior leader Oommen Chandy denied the statement of Mullappally by stating that UDF was capable enough to defeat BJP and it doesn’t need anybody’s support.

Meanwhile, Alappuzha MP A M Ariff created a controversy by ridiculing Aritha Babu, the UDF candidate of Kayamkulam. "Elections are not held to the milk society. A person selling milk should contest in the milk society," Ariff said. He made the controversial statement at the women’s meet organized for the election convention of the LDF candidate. Later, Aritha Babu reacted to this by saying that his words pained her.

Total voters- 2.74 crore.

Voter turnout in 2016- 77.53 percent.

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