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UDF buoyant and 'confident' despite exit poll

UDF buoyant and confident despite exit poll

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after various exit polls predicted Opposition CPI(M)-led LDF coming to power in Kerala, ruling Congress-led UDF leaders shrugged it off and expressed confidence of getting a "comfortable" majority.

KPCC President V M Sudheeran said UDF had contested to win. "We will win and we will rule," he told reporters here.

Sudheeran said he had spoken to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, UDF leaders and DCC office bearers Tuesday. "All of us are confident that it will be a victory for UDF," he said.

Asked how many seats they were expecting to win, he declined to give any number. "We have a clear idea how many seats we will win. UDF will get a good majority for the continuation of the government. We have no doubt about that," he said.

CPI-M General secretary Sitaram Yechury said in Delhi the next government in Kerala will be of LDF.

"Exit polls are exit polls. We have seen in the past what these polls have said."

In Kerala, he said: "This government will go and LDF will come to power".

Asked about the front's Chief Ministerial candidate, Yechury said: "We have told earlier. We will sit down and decide. Let the results be out."

CPI-M Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat said they do not generally go by the exit polls as they are "unreliable".

However, from feedback received yesterday, LDF is headed for a big win in Kerala and will get over 85 seats, he said.

Sudheeran said the fight to form the government was between UDF and LDF. But when Prime Minister Narendra Modi compared Kerala to Somalia and attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her Italian roots, the fight turned out to be between Congress-BJP, he said.

Kerala Congress(M) supremo and former Finance Minister K M Mani, who was forced to resign over the Bar bribery scam, also exuded confidence about UDF's victory.

"These are only exit polls. The people's survey will be out on May 19. I have no doubt UDF will win with a good and comfortable majority," he said, adding the Front was not seeing the BJP-BDJS presence as a "small" factor.

Mani, who contested from Pala for the 13th time in a row, said he was confident he would win with a good majority.

In Poonjar, where former government chief whip P C George had given a tough fight to both UDF and LDF, Mani said it would be a sure win for the Congress-led front.

IUML leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty said UDF certainly had the upper hand and would come back to power.

BJP President Kummanam Rajasekharan alleged there was a secret pact between UDF and LDF in four constituencies in Thiruvananthapuram district itself.

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