With minutes left for opening the ballot boxes, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, according to several exit polls results, is in a pole position, as not a single one has said the Congress-led UDF will win.
If this turns out to be true, Vijayan will go down in the history of Kerala as the first to lead a sitting government back to office, and since the last four days, that is the only thing one has heard the Left leaders including Vijayan saying time and again.
The Congress-led Opposition, however, has shot it down as nothing but wishful thinking, claiming they are going to form the next government.
Voting took place in the state on April 6 to elect 140 legislators to the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly.
Counting of votes will begin at 8 a.m when the postal ballots will be counted and this time contrary to the previous occasions, this time, it could well be evening when the final tally is known.
While hitherto the average number of postal ballots in a constituency stood around 500, this time it has gone up to as high as 4,000 votes because above aged 80 voters was allowed this facility and this time there were more number of election officials.
This is because, this time there is going to be close to five lakh postal ballots which will have to first counted physically, before the EVMs are opened.
On Sunday morning the acting secretary of the CPI-M and also the Left Democratic Front convenor – A. Vijayaraghavan had no doubts when the media caught up when he was out in the roads to take a stroll.
“None of us have a doubt on what on what the outcome is going to be as the people of Kerala experienced a government that did its work. The Congress tried their best to distract the people by levelling various allegations, which had no sum or substance,” said Vijayaraghavan.
Unlike his normal behaviour, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who reached his home town at Haripad in Alappuzha, failed to say a word to the waiting media.
This act of Chennithala sent tongues wagging that Chennithala is angry.
Two-time former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, as is the norm every Sunday, was spotted at his home parish Church at Puthupally in Kottayam district busy in his prayers.
Chandy also when asked did not say a word on what the outcome is going to be and he was more worried of maintaining Covid protocols as that was the norm to be observed on counting day.
Two State Ministers Kadakampally Surendran and J. Mercykutty had no doubt in the outcome as both expressed absolute confidence that not only will they both win, but the Left will create electoral history.
With Covid pandemic spreading like wildfire in Kerala and the most parts of the country, all sorts of crowding in and around the counting centres has been banned and only the officials and the candidates representative are only allowed and each of them have to come with a Covid negative certificate.
Meanwhile, this time there would be no live online updates as in the past and one will have to wait to hear from the Election Commission which is expected to take place every 30 minutes after every round of counting of votes is over and the first trend is expected around 8.30 a.m.
Among the various exit polls, two of them have said the Left will win as high as 120 seats with 75 the least, while not a single one has predicted the Congress-led UDF will win.