As the picture in the Kerala assembly election is getting clearer in the trends, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by Pinarayi Vijayan is set to break the state's four-decade-old trend of swinging between the communists and the Congress-led United Democratic Front.
The counting of votes for the assembly polls in four states and union territory is being taken up at a time when the country is grappling with a raging COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most unique patterns of assembly elections in Kerala over the years has been how they have led to a change of ruling party in the state every alternate election.
In the early trends, the Congress is losing high stakes battle in the five states, but the real surprise is Kerala where the party is set to lose the state and the LDF is winning second time in a row to create history.
The Kerala setback is significant as party leader Rahul Gandhi is MP from Wayanad and his close lieutenant K.C. Venugopal also hails from the same state.
In the 140-member Kerala Assembly, according to the latest reports, the ruling LDF is leading in 88 of the 140 assembly constituencies while the opposition Congress-headed UDF was ahead in 50 segments.
All the exit polls had predicted a clear victory for the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Front with a minimum of 75 seats and a maximum of 120 seats.
The Left's stunning performance can be attributed to no one other than Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who led from the front.
In the 2016 polls, it was party stalwart V.S. Achuthanandan who led from the front and after the Left won, Vijayan stepped in to take the Chief Minister's post, while Achuthanandan was given the post of 'Kerala Castro'.
Vijayan, despite running into numerous troubles in various issues, stood his ground and boldly went forward. His writ ran large when it came to selecting party candidates, with seven ministers and 26 legislators left out.
The pattern right from the start of the counting of votes was the UDF was unable to move above the 60 seat mark and in many of these constituencies, it is leading with a slender margin and if it continues, then there could be more shocks and the Left might well end up with 100 seats or more.
(With inputs from agencies)