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Opinion poll predicts Congress sweep in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 29: A new opinion poll conducted by the public opinion research agency C-Voter for Asianet News predicts a win for the Congress party-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in majority of constituencies in Kerala.

The regional television channel also released the survey results of half of the 20 seats from the southern state where LDF has to content with just two seats in almost a repeat of the 2009 results. Predictably, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of the prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi draws a blank.

The opinion poll conducted by the Hansa Research for the NDTV had last week predicted a close call with the rival fronts sharing ten seats each. The survey conducted by the same agency for the Asianet immediately after the elections were notified predicted a slight edge for the Congress and its allied winning 11 seats.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, the UDF candidate fielded by the Congress party, is predicted to retain his seat by a margin of three percent while the Bharatiya Janata Party’s O Rajagopal would be pushed to a distant third garnering just 18 percent of the votes.

The neighboring Attingal constituency in the district will go the Left Democratic Front (LDF) way with A Sampath fielded by the Communist Party of India-marxist (CPI-M) will retain the seat defeating Bindu Krishna, president of the Congress party’s women’s wing by two percent votes.

Congress party’s Anto Antony is predicted to retain his Pathanamthitta seat where his opponent Peelipose Thomas, the party rebel supported by the LDF on the plank of his opposition to a private airport coming up in the constituency, by a margin of three percent votes.

In the Mavelikkara constituency, the Congress party’s Kodikunnil Suresh, the junior labor minister, is expected to win his sitting seat by a margin of three percent votes against Chengara Surendran, the LDF candidate fielded by the Communist Party of India (CPI).

Jose K Mani, the UDF candidate fielded by the Kerala Congress (Mani), retains the Kottayam seat defeating former state minister Mathew T Thomas, a sitting legislator, fielded by the Janata Dal (Secular) for LDF by a margin of six percent votes.

In Alappuzha, Congress leader KC Venugopal retains his edge over CPI-M’s Chandramohan by polling two percent more votes while the Congress party’s young candidate in Idukki, Dean Kuriakose, is predicted to scrape through by one percent more votes than Joyce George, the church’s candidate supported by the LDF.

In Ernakulam, Congress leader Prof KV Thomas will defeat the LDF independent fielded by the CPI-M, retired bureaucrat Christy Fernandez, by a huge margin of 12 percent. Former Time and CNN journalist Anita Pratap will end up with just five percent votes.

In Chalakudy, senior Congress leader PC Chacko is predicted to win polling 48 percent votes against film star Innocent, fielded by the CPI-M, who will garner just 42 percent of popular votes.

Surprisingly, the CPI-M’s politburo member MA Baby is ahead by one percent votes in Kollam where the UDF has fielded NK Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party that switched sides just before the elections.

Overall, 46 percent of the Kerala electorate prefer the UDF to LDF’s 41 percent. The BJP had to content with just 10 percent despite the hype created by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who has already addressed a couple of rallies with huge attendance here.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and other smaller players are expected to end up with just five percent of the popular votes being shared among themselves.

Young voters predominantly prefer the UDF candidates while the elders going the LDF way, the survey predicts. The UDF has support of the Muslim, Christian, Nair and Hindu forward classes while the dalits and and backward Hindu Ezhava voters are standing by the LDF.