Congress cautious on Kerala poll results

New Delhi: Apparently surprised over the neck and neck fight in Kerala, Congress on Friday reacted cautiously to the initial trends emerging out of the Left-ruled state, where it was expecting a spectacular comeback.

“Majoirty is a majority. It is a matter of happiness that UDF is going to form the next government there. But I feel it would have been better had we got 80 to 85 seats.

But we are hopeful. These are still trends and we are already ahead in 74 seats,” AICC general secretary in-charge for Kerala Madhusudan Mistry told PTI.

Asked why there was such a close fight between the Congress-led front and Left-led front in Kerala unlike in West Bengal, Mr. Mistry said, “Bengal and Kerala are different. These are two different sets of culture, two different kinds of people. Other states cannot be compared with Kerala.

“But we will examine how it happened. A lot of factors went into the result. Certainly we will assess the reasons.”

To a question on whether Rahul Gandhi’s attack on Kerala Chief Minister V .S. Achutanandan’s age harmed Congress prospects, the AICC general secretary said, “I do not think it was targeted towards any person. We fought against the policies of the Left Front government there and our campaign concentrated on that.”

Asked whether the 2G Spectrum scam had an impact on Kerala results or it blunted Congress campaign against corruption in the State, Mr. Mistry merely said: “I would not say that but yes voters of Kerala are highly educated.”

“It is too early to say on these things. We will have to see the behaviour of voting in different constituencies together as there are different voting patterns in different reasons. We will have to see what has happened where,” he said when asked whether he rules out the impact of 2G on Kerala results.

Mr. Mistry also dismissed contentions that the LDF would have performed better had the CPI(M) rallied behind the Kerala Chief Minister in a stronger manner from the very beginning.

Asked about the issue of Chief Ministership, Mr. Mistry said the decision would be taken by the elected MLAs as it was their prerogative.

He also parried questions on whether former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will once again become Chief Minister.

“These things are not pre-determined and the Chief Minister for Kerala would be selected through the same process as is done in other States after elections,” he said.