Chandy makes history, hopes to win polls

Thiruvananthapuram, May 18 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, sworn in on this day five years ago, on Wednesday completed 1,827 days in office — a record for a five-year term in the state.

And speaking a day before votes polled in the assembly elections are counted, the Congress veteran reiterated that exit polls predicting his ouster would be proved wrong and he would retain power.

Chandy becomes the first chief minister in Kerala to occupy the top seat for the most number of days at one stretch.

His predecessor and Marxist leader V.S. Achuthanandan was chief minister for 1,822 days.

Chandy told IANS that he was confident that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) would get a renewed mandate.

“The total number of women voters is in excess of one million more than male voters. This is going to be hugely positive for us,” he said.

“We are expecting a close fight in around a dozen constituencies where the margin (of victory or defeat) would be less than 1,000 votes, and here the postal votes will be decisive.

“We are quite confident that we will retain power,” he said.

At least four chief ministers have occupied the office for more than 1,827 days over more than one five-year term: C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, A.K. Antony and E.K. Nayanar.

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