Incumbent Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has taken the lead from the Dharmadam constituency in the initial round of vote counting for Kerala assembly election. He is leading by 3,351 votes so far. The CPI (M) CM had won the seat in 2016 elections with almost 37,000 votes.
Ahead of the vote counting, Vijayan had exuded confidence of securing power in the red bastion once again. Several exit polls had also predicted a definite victory for the LDF, which seems to be actually unfolding in the state. The Vijayan-led alliance is leading on 92 seats. Certain reports have claimed that the CM has ordered the General Administration Department of the state to prepare for a swearing-in ceremony on Monday if the LDF comes to power.
On the other hand, the Congress-led UDF is leading on 46 seats. Winning the southern state remains a distant dream for NDA which is ahead on just 1 seat.
Trends so far show that Vijayan has managed to fight off any anti-incumbency sentiment in Kerala despite a tough last year on account of COVID-19. On the contrary, Kerala was praised by experts for its handling of the crisis.
Congress had led a spirited campaign in the state, attacking LDF and Vijayan on multiple fronts including charges of corruption, data privacy violations in the Sprinklr case, among others. BJP had targeted the sitting government on the Sabrimala issue, rising state debt and political killings.
Counting is underway in Kerala for over 2 crore votes from 40,771 polling booths. The number of counting centres has been increased by almost 90 per cent in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.