Press Trust of India / May 16, 2009
The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF is heading for a humiliating defeat in Kerala trailing behind the Congress-led UDF in 16 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats as about 45 per cent of the votes were counted.
The UDF candidates have established comfortable leads in most of the seats they are leading in a trend which is expected to be a virtual reversal of the 2004 verdict when the LDF swept the polls winning 18 of the 20 seats.
The Congress candidates are ahead of their LDF rivals in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam,Idukki, Chalakkudy, Thrissur, Palakkad, Ponnani, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Vatakara and Kannur.
The LDF candidates are ahead in Kasargode, Alathur (SC), Ernakulam and Attingal. Prominent UDF candidates leading include Shashi Tharoor, Mullapally Ramchandran, K C venugopal and K Sudhakaran of Congress and IUML all-India president and Union Minister E Ahmed in Malappuram and his colleague and former state minister E T Muhammad Basheer in nearby Ponnani.
The Congress nominee and sitting MLA K V Thomas is trailing youth leader Sindhu Joy of CPI (M). Several sitting CPI-M MPs are trailing including K Suresh Kurup (Kottayam), P Sathidevi (Vatakara), T K Hamza (Malappuram), K S Manoj (Alappuzha) and P Rajendran (Kollam).