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Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s Crisis Manager, Wins Electoral Hearts

Pinarayi Vijayan of LDF has been re-elected in Kerala, squashing UDF’s hopes of returning to power.

Updated
Kerala
2 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Reporter: Smitha TK

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Pinarayi Vijayan who is holding the last citadel of Left politics in India created history by being the first to lead a party for a consecutive term in Kerala.

The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has won 70 seats of the total of 140, while Congress-headed UDF Opposition has won 32 and the BJP-led NDA has drawn a blank.

“The historic victory is a recognition of the LDF government’s five-year rule. It is the people’s victory. They trusted us and we trusted them. The election was a big political fight for us,” Vijayan said in Kannur.

In the early days, Vijayan often described as Stalinist and dictatorial by his political opponents, soon came to be known as an administrator and an empathetic leader. The last tenure has been a stormy affair with massive floods, destructive cyclones, Nipah virus outbreak, and the coronavirus pandemic. Often his daily press briefings helped calm the nerves of an insecure public across the state.

Ministers, K K Shailaja, A C Moideen, Kadakampally Surendran, T P Ramakrishnan, K Krishnankutty, and Kadannappally Ramachandran too ensured their solid victory making it a win with a huge margin.

A Shocker for Congress-Led UDF

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had won 19 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general election with a 47.5% vote-share, but failed to keep that momentum for the state election. Senior Congress leaders, Ramesh Chennithala, Oommen Chandy, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, and P T Thomas won, but the LDF candidates had given them a tough fight. The drastic fall in the lead of Chandy in his home turf Puthuppally, which he has been representing for the last 50 years, has shocked the Congress camp.

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No Room for BJP in Kerala

The BJP failed to make a mark in Kerala. In Nemom, V Shivankutty of LDF wrested the seat from BJP for CPI(M). In Palakkad, Safi Parambil of Congress won the seat-leaving behind E Sreedharan, BJP's candidate and former metroman of India.

Pinarayi Vijayan's victory is proof of his leadership amid such a stormy tenure but the state is now staring at an acute crisis with over 35,000 COVID cases being reported every day. The state government has been keeping the situation under control by ramping up the availability of critical care beds, COVID care centres, and availability of medical oxygen on war footing, but the crisis is far from over.

Here begins round two for Pinarayi Vijayan to live up to his tag — ‘crisis controller’.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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