Kerala Polls that turned out to be a suspense thriller
The photo-finish race between UDF and the LDF in the recent assembly polls was quite like a 20-20 IPL match going right down the wire! Kerala has not witnessed many instances of a political suspense thriller as the one unveiled on the 13th of May, when the counting for 140 assembly seats were taken up.
The UDF leaders were complacent and overconfident about their victory that even the exit poll results and the poll pundits’ prediction of a tight contest failed to bring them to reality . The swerving fortunes and the ups and downs as results came tumbling in from constituencies kept everyone on tenterhooks as the leaders were left wondering at the unexpected turn of events. Kerala, has a history of never returning the ruling party to power a second term. However, during this poll, it appeared for a moment that the Kerala electorate might have decided to break the 30 year old recurrent pattern of sending the UDF and the LDF alternatively to power, which made it a nail biting thriller right up to the last lap!
After a neck and neck contest, which at one time looked like an imminent tie with both parties heading to 70 seats each, took a faint decisive turn only in the last leg of counting. It took the votes of a few panchayats like Piravom and Thrithala , which placed UDF ahead by just 2 seats, one of the lowest in Kerala poll history. The fact that Congress on its own could muster just 38 seats of the 82 it contested will remain a topic of discussion in the days to come and the UDF leaders will be pondering on the factors responsible for its poor performance.
On the other hand, the LDF camp is in a jovial mood as the poll results have clearly indicated that people have endorsed the anti corruption movement taken up by the Chief Minister, Achuthanandan. The poll results will indeed be a wake up poll for politicians who take the electorate for granted. The message on the wall reads clearly that the people expect nothing short of good governance . Gone are the days when politicians could create a smoke screen by diverting the attention of the electorate to the opposition camp’s internal squabbles and scams;these would not wash with the voters anymore and only hard work pays off at the end of the day.
Congress was indeed caught off the guard when it ended up winning the elections by the skin of the teeth. The absence of a clear verdict will make it more challenging for the ruling front and to stay firmly on the road in their five year travel time, they need to come up with a stellar performance!