UDF bucks anti-Cong trend in Kerala, LDF betters position

Bucking the anti-Congress trend witnessed in the rest of the country, the ruling Congress-led UDF maintained edge over the LDF spearheaded by the CPI-M, winning 12 of the 20 seats albeit failing to match its 2009 tally of 16.

Thiruvananthapuram: Bucking the anti-Congress trend witnessed in the rest of the country, the ruling Congress-led UDF maintained edge over the LDF spearheaded by the CPI-M, winning 12 of the 20 seats albeit failing to match its 2009 tally of 16.

In a victory that came as a relief to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the Congress won eight seats against 13 in 2009 while its allies IUML bagged two and Kerala Congress (M) and RSP one each.

LDF, which won four seats last time, doubled its tally by winning eight seats but suffered a glaring loss in the defeat of CPI(M) polit bureau member M A Baby to RSP`s N K Premachandran in Kollam.

In solace to the LDF, the coalition wrested from Congress Kannur, Thrissur, Chalakkudi, and Idukki and also retained all the four seats it bagged in 2009.

BJP once again failed to open account with the defeat of its senior leader O Rajagopal at the hands of Shashi Tharoor of the Congress by a margin of 15,470 votes in Thiruvananthapuram where leads fluctuated.

Besides Tharoor, Union Ministers from the state who romped home and retained their seats are K V Thomas (Ernakulam), K C Venugopal (Alappuzha), Kodikunnil Suresh (Mavelikkara) and IUML leader E Ahamed (Malappuram) and Mullapally Ramachandran (Vatkara).

Prominent UDF losers include Congress spokesperson P C Chacko, who was humbled by film actor Innocent at Chalakkudi.
In Palakkad SJD supremo and former union minister M P Veerendrakumar was defeated by CPI-M`s sitting MP M B Rajesh by a margin of over 1,05300 votes.

Reacting to the outcome, Chandy said the UDF`s victory was an endorsement of people-friendly policies of the government and exuded confidence that he would be able to work in co-operation with the BJP government at the Centre without compromising on the party`s ideals.
CPI(M) central committee member Thomas Isaac said the LDF had expected better results as it had expected to win upto 12 seats.

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