Congress-led front sweeps polls in Kerala (Second Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) swept the polls winning 16 of 20 seats in Kerala as the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) faced one of its worst electoral drubbings.
In 2004, CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) had bagged 19 seats capturing 50 percent of the votes polled. But this time its vote share fell to 42 percent.

The UDF romped home with 47.86 percent votes up from 36 percent in 2004. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s vote share fell from 11 percent in 2004 to 6.45 percent this time.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who will complete three years in office Tuesday, remained non-committal when asked who or what was responsible for the poll debacle.

“The party politburo is meeting on 18th. The central committee, the state secretariat and the state committee will all meet to discuss this defeat,” Achuthanandan told reporters at his residence here Saturday.

“I will let you all know after the various party meetings are over.”

“We expected a better performance and now we will have to examine why this happened. But this verdict has got nothing to do with the governance of the Left government. We will learn from the failures and work hard to strengthen the LDF,” said Achuthanandan.

Leader of the opposition in the state assembly Oommen Chandy said: “This victory is because of the hardwork of the entire UDF who managed to get the message of the need for a secular government at the centre. We are not asking the Left to resign. But the best they can do is to correct the wrong policies and they have two more years left to do so.”

Communist Party of India, one of the CPI-M allies, was worst hit as it lost in all the four seats it contested.

Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader M.P. Veerendra Kumar, whose party was virtually booted out of the LDF by the CPI-M as he refused to give up Kozhikode seat, said: “This is the best (reply) that could be given to the arrogance of (CPI-M state secretary) Pinarayi Vijayan. This happened because of his arrogance.”

But for the LDF, the third anniversary of the Achuthanandan government Tuesday will be more of a day of introspection rather than celebration.

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