Beats Christy Fernandez by 87,047 votes

Congress candidate K.V. Thomas retained the Ernakulam constituency by defeating the LDF-backed Independent candidate Christy Fernandez by an impressive margin of 87,047 votes.

While Mr. Thomas polled 353841 votes, Mr. Fernandez could garner only 26,6794 votes, which indicated major erosion in the vote chare of the LDF in the constituency. In his winning streak, Mr. Thomas established a clear lead in all the seven Assembly constituencies and even dented the political vote base of LDF in the process. He also improved his winning margin by over seven times in the election. Last time, Mr. Thomas managed to get through by a margin of 11,790 votes.

As the LDF camp is struggling to come in terms with the crushing defeat, may party leaders feel that the votes cornered by the Aam Admi Party candidate Anita Pratap and independent candidate K.V. Bhaskaran might have done the damage most for the front. It seemed that Ms. Pratap and Mr. Bhaskaran have eaten into the vote share of the LDF in the constituency.

While Ms. Pratap secured 51,517 votes, Mr. Bhaskaran surprised all by securing 22,733 votes. He even surged ahead of the key candidates in some of the polling booths in West Kochi, where the LDF used to bag majority of the votes. Sulficar Ali, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party of India managed to garner 14,825 votes.

Riding on the Modi factor, the BJP candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan posted the best ever performance for the party in the constituency by bagging 99,003 votes, which was almost double the votes he secured during the last election. That time, 52,968 voters exercised their franchise in his favour.

Banking on the inputs provided by the party committees, the CPI (M) had anticipated a Congress victory of 30,000 votes, said a senior party functionary, while conceding the massive defeat.

Early lead

Right from the counting of postal votes to the last round, Mr. Thomas maintained a winning lead and steadily increased it as the counting progressed. When 10 per cent of the votes were counted, Mr. Thomas managed a lead of 9,099 votes. The lead increased to 15,000 votes within two hours of counting. The margin earned by the candidate was convincing enough for the Congress workers who started the victory celebrations. Mr. Thomas stayed at home during the initial hours of counting and came out to meet the party workers after his margin crossed 20,000 votes.

Workers hailed

Mr. Thomas gave the credit of the success to the Congress and UDF workers. Prof. Thomas said that the party workers and the UDF partners worked together to ensure his victory in the contest. “We had been working like a team for the past five years and it produced the results,” he said.