As only few hours are left for the counting of votes for 140 constituencies in the Kerala Assembly polls to begin, candidates in the electoral contest are keeping high hopes and exuding confidence that the people's mandate will be in their favour.
Riding high after various pre-poll and post-poll surveys that predicted Communist Party of India (M)-led Left Democratic Front victory, acting state secretary and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan has exerted confidence that the Left will get continuation in power with a thumping victory.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had said earlier that the LDF would retain power in the state, speaking to media on Saturday however chose not to go for any prediction.
"Let's wait till tomorrow. Everything will be clear. After that, I will comment," he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress-led United Democratic Front camp, based on their assessment from booth level data, has dismissed the exit poll surveys as 'unscientific' and is confident of regaining the power in the state.
"This kind of exit polls which is prepared after seeking the opinion of about 250 people from a constituency which have more than 2 lakhs voters does not have any scientific base. Kerala has a history that shows these kinds of exit polls are often wrong. In fact, an anti-UDF stand that started before the election is visible on all of them. The UDF will overcome all this," said Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, who is also the opposition leader.
He said that the people of Kerala stand unanimously with the UDF. "That will be revealed in the election result. Our assessment is that UDF will come to power," he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that managed to open its account in Kerala in the last assembly polls is hopeful of winning more seats this time around and improving its vote share.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the LDF had won 91 seats, with a vote share of 43.48 per cent, while the UDF had won 47 seats, with a vote share of 38.81 per cent. When the NDA won one seat with a vote share of 14.96 per cent, the Poonjar constituency stood with independent candidate PC George.
The state went to polls in a single phase on April 6.
Exit polls have given varying margins for LDF victory.
ABP-CVoter exit poll predicted 71-77 seats for LDF, 62-68 seats for UDF and 0-2 seats for BJP, while India Today-Axis My India exit poll said LDF would get 104-120 seats while it predicted 20-36 seats for UDF, 0-2 seats for BJP+.
Today's Chanakya said 93-111 seats for LDF, 26-44 seats for UDF, 0-6 seats for BJP+ and 0-3 seats for others. Republic-CNX predicted LDF to win 72-80 seats, UDF 58-64 seats, BJP+ 1-5 seats. Jan Ki Baat exit poll predicted 64-76 seats for LDF, 61-71 for BJP+ and 2-4 for others.
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