Congress lawmaker from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, who has been campaigning for the Congress and allies for months now, on Monday said that the “momentum is with the UDF”, and added that the BJP is “barely competitive in 5 or 6 seats,” quoted news agency ANI.

Congress, which leads the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, is contesting the assembly polls in alliance with Indian Union of Muslim League, Kerala Congress (Joseph) group, Kerala Congress Jacob group, and Revolutionary socialist party (RSP). The challenger BJP has made some inroads in the state where it had no footprints till about a few years back.

The 140-member Kerala assembly is going for polls on Tuesday, April 6 with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the UDF in the fray. The votes for the single-phase assembly elections will be counted on May 2. 

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, has been actively campaigning in the state. Moving away from the conventional campaigning methods, Gandhi tried to hyperlocalised his campaigns, which includes riding in an auto-rickshaw in Nemom (Watch), to teaching Aikido to students in a school in Kochi. The 50-year-old went for a boat ride with fishermen, swam with them in the sea in the state, and joined village people in the kitchen, as he cooked biryani and raita with them. 

Currently, the LDF led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the ruling coalition in Kerala. The LDF also comprises parties such as the Communist Party of India, Janata Dal, KC (M), Congress Secular, Indian National League, and Lokthantrik Janatha Dal.

India is witnessing polling in five states — Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Puducherry, on Tuesday, April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.