Kerala

Kerala bypoll: UDF wrests Aroor from Left after 13 years

Shanimol Usman.

Shanimol Usman.   | Photo Credit: Vipin Chandran

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Congress candidate Shanimol Usman defeated her nearest rival Manu C. Pulickal of the CPI (M) by a margin of 2,079 votes

The United Democratic Front (UDF) has wrested the Aroor Assembly seat from the Left Democratic Front (LDF) after a gap of 13 years.

In a nail-biting contest, Congress candidate Shanimol Usman defeated her nearest rival Manu C. Pulickal of the CPI (M) by a margin of 2,079 votes. Ms. Usman garnered 69,356 votes as against 67,277 votes polled by the LDF candidate. National Democratic Alliance candidate Prakash Babu of the BJP finished a distant third with 16,289 votes.

80.47% of the 1.92 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the byelection held on October 21.

Of five constituencies that went to the polls in the State, Aroor was the ruling LDF’s sole seat where it had a sitting legislator. Considered a CPI(M) citadel, LDF candidate A.M. Ariff romped to victory in Aroor for the third time in a row in the 2016 Assembly elections by a margin of 38,519 votes. However, things turned topsy-turvy in the 2019 Parliament polls when UDF candidate Shanimol Usman, who lost the Parliament election from the Alappuzha seat against Mr. Ariff, gained a lead of 648 votes against her rival in the Aroor Assembly segment.

Victory in Aroor is a major relief for the opposition UDF in the State, where it lost two sitting seats in the byelections.

Controversies, including a police case registered under non-bailable sections against Ms. Usman in the middle of electioneering for blocking a road repair work, ‘Putanas’ remark made by Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran and the controversy surrounding the alleged ‘feast’ arranged by the family of the LDF candidate for the soldiers of Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer, who led the police firing that killed hundreds of poor people and farmers at Vayalar and Punnapra in 1946, all seem to have played a part in the defeat of the LDF candidate.

The bypoll was necessitated after legislator A.M. Ariff of the CPI(M) got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Alappuzha Parliament seat.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 9:03:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-bypoll-udf-wrests-aroor-from-left-after-13-years/article29784941.ece

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