Sunday, May 15, 2011

Winning by a Whisker

In a state which has returned a new Government with every election for most of its existence, Kerala came close this time to breaking that trend. Even as leads were coming in, it seemed as though history had gone amiss somewhere and the highly-factionalized Left Democratic Front led by Chief Minister VS Achutanandan could come back for a second term. But, as counting progressed, it became apparent that history was not on the LDF's side.

Accompanied by a stupendous loss in Bengal, this is the loss of the Left's second State Government, the one in Tripura being the third. However, the Left fared much better than expected. At 68, it just managed to win a majority, but the Congress-led UDF puled off a fast one to take victory.

Nonetheless, the LDF can be reassured that the loss is statistically insignificant. As usual, no independents won in Kerala, reflecting the ideology-driven approach of its voters. The polarization of the Kerala electorate the clear and it seems impossible for the BJP to enter the state, although it is trying.

Oomen Chandy is expected to be the next Chief Minister, although there could be other contenders. Nonetheless, five years of UDF rule is sure for Kerala.

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