Left takes early lead in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 19 (IANS) The Left made initial gains in Kerala as officials counted the millions of votes polled to pick a new 140-member assembly.

Election officials said candidates from the Left Democratic Front (LDF) had forged ahead in 53 seats while the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) was ahead in 45.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was at the first spot in one constituency.

A total of 1,203 contestants were in the fray. Most exit polls have predicted a victory for the Left. The BJP is hoping to win a seat in the Kerala assembly for the first time.

Some 77 per cent of the 26 million electorate voted on May 16.



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