Press Trust of India / May 16, 2009
Inflicting a crushing blow to the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala, a resurgent Congress-led UDF bagged 16 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats, in a virtual reversal of the 2004 verdict.
CPI(M) barely managed to hold on to its traditional fortresses like Palakkad, Alathur, Kasargode and Attingal.
Effacing the 2004 ignominy, Congress captured 13 of the 17 seats it contested while its partners IUML won two seats and the Kerala Congress(M) one. The biggest loser of the day was CPI which lost all the four seats it contested.
Prominent UDF winners from the state included former UN Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor, former Union Minister Mullapally Ramachandran and Union Minister and IUML chief E Ahamed.
Kerala proved to be a barren land for the BJP as the saffron party got much less votes than they garnered in 2004. BSP and NCP also came a cropper in the state where the electoral scene was dominated by the UDF and LDF.
The left rout in Kerala was largely attributed to prolonged feud between two factions in the CPI-M led by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, and the infighting among front partners before the poll are seen to have contributed to the LDF debacle.
The results are also seen as rejection of the strategic tie-up forged by the CPI-M with PDP led by Abdul Nasser Madani who was accused of having links with extremist outfits