The NDA may have lost its lone seat of Nemom in Kerala and seen a significant erosion in vote share to 11.3 per cent, but it can draw comfort from the fact that it has come up in the second position in as many as nine seats. This is an improvement on the 2016 tally when it was runners-up in only six though with a vote share of 14.96 per cent.
The nine seats are Manjeswar (K Surendran, State President, with vote share of 37.7 per cent); Nemom (Kummanam Rajasekharan, 35.54 per cent); Palakkad (Metroman E Sreedharan, 35.34 per cent); Kasaragod (K Sreekanth, 34.88 per cent); Malampuzha (C Krishnakumar, 30.68 per cent); Chathannoor (BB Gopakumar, 30.61 per cent); Kazhakkoottam (Sobha Surendran, 29.06 per cent); Vattiyoorkavu (VV Rajesh, 28.77 per cent); and Attingal (P Sudheer, 25.92 per cent).
Vote share above 30%
It is worth noting here that in at least six of these, the vote share is more than 30 per cent. A sobering fact though is that the party trailed in the third position in Konni, the second seat from where Surendran contested, and at Thrissur, where Suresh Gopi gave a sustained fight to the Congress candidate.
Interestingly, in the midst of winning a rare second term in a state where archrivals Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have ruled by turn in the last 40 years, the incumbent LDF dispensation too has had to contend with the ignominy of ending up as a third in as many seats.
Not surprisingly, these are Palakkad where it lost the second position to E Sreedharan; Manjeswar, where it ran up third after K Surendran; and Kasaragod, trailing K Sreekanth, all NDA candidates. As for the Congress-led UDF, it did not fare any better with respect to the seat-wise sweepstakes.
UDF third in six seats
The UDF was pushed to the third in the race in at least six seats, which reflects a performance in which its tally this time ended up fewer by as many to match the strength of 47 in the current Assembly. Of these six, four are in the capital district of Thiruvananthapuram, where it trailed behind the NDA.
The UDF is in a distant third position behind the NDA in Nemom, Kazhakkootam and Vattiyoorkavu. At Nemom, sitting MP K Muraleedharan of the Congress suffered a humiliating defeat. In Attingal, A Sreedharan of UDF constituent RSP ended up third while in Vattiyoorkavu, Veena S Nair (Congress), met with a similar fate.
Next innings to start
At Chathannoor in Kollam next door, it was the turn of veteran Congress leader Peethambara Kurup to bite the dust while in Malampuzha, the UDF (Congress) candidate SK Anandakrishnan merely managed to add 110 votes to his 2016 tally to run up third behind the NDA candidate.
Meanwhile on Monday, victorious Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan drove to the Raj Bhavan and handed over the resignation of the Council of Ministers to Governor Arid Mohammed Khan. The Governor requested him to continue to head a caretaker government until the new government is sworn in likely next week.