Kerala Election Results Leave BJP Blank, LDF Gets 97 Seats

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Monday, May 3, 2021/Kerala-
Left Democratic Front (LDF) rewrote history in Kerala on Sunday by winning a second term in a state with 97 seats.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the 76-year-old CPI(M) leader, became only the third chief minister in Kerala’s history to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term.

The LDF’s win is just the second instance of a ruling front receiving consecutive terms.

The LDF won 97 of the state’s 140 seats, besting its own 2016 tally of 91 seats.

The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) won 47 seats, while challenger Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to open its account.

“We have closed the account that the BJP opened in the Kerala Assembly in 2016 election. Kerala has become the only Assembly in India that has no representative from the BJP. Kerala will remain the citadel of secularism in the country,” said CPI(M) leader Thomas Isaac on Twitter.

Fighting on the plank of development, the LDF is believed to have won votes with its prompt and able handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The BJP, which had opened its account in the state last time with one seat and had expected to win at least half a dozen this time, drew a blank.

Senior leaders like Kummanam Rajasekharan, K Surendran, Sobha Surendran and E Sreedharan were all defeated from their respective constituencies.

Family Background

Vijayan was born on 24 May 1945 in Pinarayi village of Malabar district in Madras Presidency, as the youngest son of Koran and Kalyani, into a Hindu Thiyyar community, the largest and dominant Hindu community in Kerala with 24% of the entire Kerala population.
He had 14 siblings of which only three survived. After graduating from school, he worked as a handloom weaver for a year before joining for Pre-university course in the Government Brennen College, Thalassery. Subsequently, he earned B.A. Economics degree from the same college.

He is married to Kamala Vijayan and has two children. His wife is a retired teacher.

Political Career

Pinarayi Vijayan entered politics through student union activities at Government Brennen College, Thalassery. He eventually joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1964. Vijayan became Kannur district secretary of the Kerala Students Federation (KSF), which later became the Students Federation of India (SFI). He went on to become the state secretary and subsequently the state president of KSF. He then moved on to Kerala State Youth Federation (KSYF), which later became the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). He became the president of the state committee. During that period, when communists in Kerala were organising the political activities from different hide-outs, Pinarayi Vijayan was imprisoned for one and a half years.
Later he was elected as the president of the Kerala state co-operative bank. During the emergency, he was arrested and tortured by police. He became the Kannur district secretary of the CPI(M) when M.V. Raghavan left the party over the ‘alternative document’ row. Within three years, he became a member of the State Secretariat. He was elected to the Assembly in 1970, 1977 and 1991 from Kuthuparamba, in 1996 from Payyanur and in 2016 from Dharmadom. He was the Minister for Electric power and Co-operatives in the E.K. Nayanar ministry from 1996 to 1998. In 1998, he became the state secretary of the CPI(M), following the death of the incumbent Chadayan Govindan. He was elected to the Politburo of the CPI(M) in 2002.

On 26 May 2007 the CPI(M) suspended Pinarayi Vijayan and V. S. Achuthanandan from the Politburo for their public remarks on each other. Pinarayi was reinstated into the Politburo later.

Positions Held
State president and secretary of Kerala Student’s Federation and president of Kerala State Youth Federation.
President of Kerala State Co-operative Bank
Elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1970, 1977, 1991, 1996 and 2016.
Minister in Kerala government between 1996 and 1998.
Secretary of the Kerala state committee of the CPI(M) between 1998 and 2015.
Member of the CPI(M) politburo from 2002.
Chief Minister of Kerala from 25 May 2016