Counting of 140 Assembly segments will begin at 8 a.m. in 633 centers

Kerala is bracing for the outcome of Sunday’s Assembly elections.

The counting of 140 Assembly constituencies will begin at 8 a.m. in 633 centers across the state. The vote count will close a tumultuous election year marked by a global pandemic and economic recession.

The 2021 assembly election tally is unlike any other in the history of the state. The party atmosphere that marks the vote count will be conspicuously absent due to the COVID-19 ban from public jubilation.

Party workers will confine displays of triumph and desperation largely indoors. The compilation of votes will take longer, given the large number of postal ballots. The long wait for the results since election day on April 6 has put political parties in suspense.

Pre-election and post-election polls had given the Left Democratic Front (LDF) a lead over opposition from the Congress-led United Democratic Front (LDF).

However, the UDF strongly contested the predictions of the poll. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said opinion polls were not an indicator of voter behavior. Pollsters had based their projection on the opinion of 250 voters in a 2.5 lakh segment of the assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hoped to supplant Congress as the main opposition in Kerala and predicted an increase in its share of the vote and its number of seats. He has not publicly challenged the results of the exit poll.

Despite the strong displays of confidence, several politicians felt that the electoral picture remained foggy. The count risked biting her fingernails. They stressed that the campaign was deeply polarizing, given the focus on the Sabarimala issue.

The question remained whether identity politics had prevailed over widespread party loyalties. There have been reports of cross voting currents fueled in part by regional and caste sentiments and intra-party rivalries.

The central investigation into the United Arab Emirates consulate-related gold smuggling case had granted Congress and the BJP sensational plots to attack the LDF government.

The ruling front had campaigned on welfarism. The appeal of national leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congressman Rahul Gandhi, also played a role in the scuffles, they said.

An estimated 74.06% of Kerala’s 2.74 crore electorate voted on April 6. Election officials repeated the enumeration process to check for last-minute glitches on Saturday.

Newspaper websites and TV stations are ready to relay the ups and downs of the counting process in real time.