Led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) rewrote history in Kerala on Sunday by winning a second term in a state that had not returned an incumbent government in four decades. Vijayan, the 76-year-old CPI(M) leader, became only the third chief minister in Kerala’s history to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term. The LDF’s win is just the second instance of a ruling front receiving consecutive terms.
The LDF won 97 of the state’s 140 seats, besting its own 2016 tally of 91 seatss. The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) won 47 seats, while challenger Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to open its account.
“We have closed the account that the BJP opened in the Kerala Assembly in 2016 election. Kerala has become the only Assembly in India that has no representative from the BJP. Kerala will remain the citadel of secularism in the country,” said CPI(M) leader Thomas Isaac on Twitter.
Fighting on the plank of development, the LDF is believed to have won votes with its prompt and able handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The BJP, which had opened its account in the state last time with one seat and had expected to win at least half a dozen this time, drew a blank. Senior leaders like Kummanam Rajasekharan, K Surendran, Sobha Surendran and E Sreedharan were all defeated from their respective constituencies.