Jose K. Mani elected to RS on LDF ticket

The Kerala Assembly on Monday elected Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress(M) to the Rajya Sabha.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated Mr. Mani for his victory in a FB post.

Mr. Mani’s defection to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and subsequent resignation of the Rajya Sabha seat he won on a United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket in 2018 had prompted the byelection. His tenure in the upper House will end in 2024.

Mr. Mani, who represented the ruling LDF, defeated Sooranadu Rajasekharan, fielded by the UDF Opposition, by 41 votes.

The electoral college comprised 140 legislators, of which 137 exercised their franchise. As per tentative voting figures, 40 MLAs voted in favour of the UDF candidate and 96 in favour of the LDF.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) legislators T.P. Ramakrishnan and P.Mammukutty and Congress legislator P.T. Thomas stayed away from voting due to ill health. UDF legislator Mani C. Kappan arrived in a PPE kit and cast his vote during the time slot allotted for COVID-19 patients.

Legislative secretary Unnikrishnan Nair, who is the returning officer, declared one vote as invalid. UDF booth agents N. Shamshudeen and Mathew Kuzhalnadan, both MLAs, protested the purportedly LDF vote based on the arguably erroneous marking on the ballot paper.

The returning officer sealed the ballot in an envelope for further examination. LDF booth agents Kadakampally Surendran and M. Rajagopal opposed the UDF claim.

Mr. Vijayan, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan, and Speaker M.B. Rajesh voted early in the day. Mr. Satheesan chaired a UDF legislative party meeting ahead of the RS polls. Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul supervised the elections.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 12:24:58 PM |

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