Kerala Results: LDF set to retain power, Sreedharan maintains lead in Palakkad

At 11 am, it was Power Minister MM Mani, who had secured the highest lead of 20,000 votes.
Pinarayi Vijayan, K K Shailaja and E Sreedharan. (Photo | EPS)
Pinarayi Vijayan, K K Shailaja and E Sreedharan. (Photo | EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF is set to secure a historic consecutive term in Kerala with the counting confirming what most exit polls had predicted and putting the ruling front in sight of a comfortable majority. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and four of his cabinet colleagues have established a clear lead in the initial hours. But ministers KT Jaleel and J Mercykutty Amma were both trailing.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and former chief minister Oommen Chandy too are leading in their seats. The impending defeat of their party, though, must have begun to weigh heavily on their minds. 

The NDA's star candidate E Sreedharan is maintaining his consistent lead in Palakkad and was ahead by over 3000 votes. 

At 11 am, it was Power Minister MM Mani, who had secured the highest lead of 20,000 votes. 

Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan won his seat by a margin of over 5000 votes.

In Mattanur, Kerala's 'rockstar' Health Minister KK Shailaja was leading by almost 18000 votes when reports came in. 

BJP's Kummanam Rajasekharan and CPM's V Sivankutty were involved in a see-saw contest in Nemom with the leads changing hands frequently. The Congress' K Muraleedharan is a poor third in the seat. 

Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani and veteran PC George are trailing in Pala and Poonjar seats respectively.

As many as 24,709 officials, including reserve personnel, are participating in the counting process. While 2.03 crore EVM votes from 40,771 polling booths are being counted, the number of postal ballots taken up for counting is around five lakh. Strict compliance with Covid protocol is being ensured throughout the counting process. 

Due to a large number of postal ballots and an increase in the number of polling booths by around 90%, the declaration of results is likely to be delayed. Recounting of postal ballots will be done in seats where the margin secured by the winning candidate is less than the postal ballots polled.   

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