The battle for Kerala had been traditionally fought between Lefts' LDF and the Congress-led UDF with the BJP usually getting relegated to a third position.
This time around, the UDF won with 19 seats defeating the LDF which won 1 seat in Kerala.
Rahul Gandhi's contest from Wayanad had created a flutter during the campaigning phase, with leaders of the BJP including his Amethi challenger Smriti Irani as well as PM Modi accusing him of 'running away' from the age-old bastion due to fear of defeat.
A factor affecting the polls was the Supreme Court order on the Sabarimala temple which allowed women of all ages to enter it. Ahead of and in the aftermath of the verdict, the Sabarimala temple, and areas surrounding it witnessed a series of protests last year in October and November. The Congress and the BJP supported the devotees who were against the EC verdict, while the Left-led stood by the apex court's decision.
A contest worth following is the one in Thiruvananthapuram where the fight is between Congress star candidate Shashi Tharoor and BJP's O Rajagopal. While Tharoor had been the favoured by voters for two consecutive general polls, in 2014, his winning margin had narrowed considerably as he beat Rajagopal with only 15,470 votes.
Cvoter and Jan Ki Baat exit polls projected that the trend would repeat where the major players remain to be the Congress and the Left parties, with the Congress-led UDF likely to be taking the lead.
A number of Republic Media Network newsbreaks especially set the agenda for the polls, including PM Narendra Modi completing a full circle with his first and last election campaign interview with Republic Media Network. Alongside the sensational #MPsOnSale sting on sitting MPs who showed themselves willing to compromise the interests of those whom they claim to represent, the Operation Karz Maafi sting that exposed the falsehood in the Congress' farm loan-waiver promise, and numerous others.
The vote counting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be held on May 23. Join Arnab on Republic Media Network for persistent coverage of the historic conclusion to the general elections here.
In the 2014 elections, the UPA had won 12 seats while LDF had won 8.
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