75 pc turnout in Kerala; both UDF, LDF hopeful

Dakshina Muraleedharan | Updated: April 13, 2011, 7:52 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Nearly 75 per cent voters cast their votes in Kerala on Wednesday.

The elections which initially looked like going the Congress' way, now looks evenly poised. Divisions within the Congress-led front could help the Left in many seats in the state.

A veteran of many political battles, VS Achutahnandan is hoping to make history by bucking a 40 year electoral trend in Kerala. The 87 year old Marxist, who cast his vote in Malampuzha, isn't prepared to occupy the position of Opposition leader, a position he held for a major part of his political career.

"We are going to return to power with a big majority," said Achutahnandan.

The congress led UDF's campaign has focused mostly on what they called the lack of development in the state and the LDFs failure to use the Centres resources for infrastructure.

"There is no doubt that the UDF will come to power," said Congress leader Oomen Chandy.

While the odds seemed stacked in favour of the UDF, given their impressive show in the both the Parliamentary and the civic polls, the LDF got a boost after the uncertainty over fielding the popular VS achutahnandan ended. The ruptures within the UDF caused by Kerala Congress Mani also looks to harm the UDF a bit.

Aided by his image as a crusader, VS took the fight into the UDF camp on the twin issues of corruption and sex scandals. The arrest of former minister Balakrishna Pillai and the revival of the ice cream parlour sex scandal being a case in point.

In a state where a marginal swing could see huge shift in number of seats, there appears to be no palpable wave.

Massive voter turnout has increased the hopes of both the fronts in Kerala.

The ruling LDF is battling to buck the trend of alternate fronts coming to power once in every five years. While the cong led UDF is hoping to bag a hattrick after the impressive victories in the Lok Sabha elections and the civic polls.

It's a month long anxious wait to know whether Kerala voted for continuity or change.

First Published: April 13, 2011, 7:52 AM IST

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