The 15th legislative assembly election of Kerala has an interesting battle between the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the challenger Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). Besides these two parties, a distant player is Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA alliance, which is trying to influence the left-ruled state by fielding themselves.
The one and only polling phase took place for 140 assembly constituencies of Kerala at 40,771 polling stations (which was 21,498 earlier) from 8am to 6pm on April 6 which witnessed a 74.02% voter turnout with minor disputes (CPM-BJP workers engaged in a clash with each other twice at Kazhakootam in the Thiruvananthapuram district) and claims of malfunctioning voting machines being reported from certain places there. A party or an alliance must win 71 seats to form the government in the state.
Politics of Kerala
Kerala has 14 districts, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod. It has been hegemonized primarily by two large groups – the LDF (Apart from the CPI-M, the alliance comprises Kerala Congress (M), the Communist Party of India (CPI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal (Secular), Indian National League and some other regional parties and UDF, the coalition of centre to centre-left political parties was founded by Congress leader K Karunakaran in 1978. Besides Congress, the alliance consists of Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc and some smaller parties). In the 2016 state assembly election, the LDF secured nearly two-thirds of the total seats, beating the UDF, which could only win 47 seats in the election.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has garnered considerable support in north India, has also begun baby steps to set up its support base in the coastal state.
In the Assembly polls of 2016, the saffron party won 14.96% votes. For the first time, the NDA (National Democratic Alliance of centre to right-wing parties) also hit the opportunity to win an assembly seat as the senior member of the BJP, O Rajagopalan secured the Nemom constituency by a margin of 8,671 votes, whereas in the Lok Sabha election of 2919 saw BJP gain zero seats, its overall vote share raised to 13%.
The state is ruled by LDF, led by CPI (M)’s Pinarayi Vijayan who is the incumbent chief minister of Kerala. The LDF in the 2016 assembly polls secured 91 seats. CPI(M) the lead partner received 26.5% vote share (53,65,472 votes), while CPI recorded 8.1% vote share (16,43,878 votes).
Key candidates and their nominations for constituencies and the respective incumbent MLAs in Kerala
- Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Dharmadam; Incumbent MLA
- BJP state president K Surendran from Manjeshwar; Incumbent MLA M. C. Kamaruddin
- Metroman E Sreedharan from Palakkad; Incumbent MLA Shafi Parambil
- Minister of Health KK Shailaja from Mattanur; Incumbent MLA
- Former CM Oommen Chandy from Puthuppally; Incumbent MLA E. P. Jayarajan
- Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan from Kanhangad; Incumbent MLA E. Chandrasekharan
- Former DGP Jacob Thomas from Irinjalakuda; Incumbent MLA K. U. Arunan
Voter turnout in Kerala
The highest turnout was registered in the Kozhikode district at 77.9%, while the Pathanamthitta district recorded the lowest turnout at 68.09%. In 2016, the turnout in the assembly elections was 77.35% – a slightly increased than this year.
Verdict declaration of Kerala legislative election 2021
The date of counting votes of the Kerala state assembly election is May 2. The counting of votes will start in the early morning approx 8 AM on the same day and the final results will be declared by evening.