Kerala

LDF wrests 2 UDF strongholds

Jubilant LDF supporters at a counting centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

Jubilant LDF supporters at a counting centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

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CPI(M) bags Vattiyurkavu, Konni Assembly seats in Kerala; loses Aroor to Cong.

Kerala’s ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) wrested two key seats — Konni and Vattiyurkavu — from the Congress but lost its sitting seat, Aroor, when the results of the byelections to five Assembly constituencies were announced on Thursday.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) combine retained its bastions of Ernakulam and Manjeswaram and captured the Aroor seat from the CPI(M) to finish with a tally of three.

The BJP could manage only the third position in four constituencies except Manjeswaram where its candidate Raveesh Tantri Kuntar stood second. It failed to make inroads into the UDF and LDF vote banks in Vattiyurkavu, Konni and Manjeswaram seats where it put up a strong fight. The LDF has made a comeback in Konni after a gap of 23 years.

Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V.K. Prasanth, who was the CPI(M) candidate in Vattiyurkavu, bagged 54,830 votes to register an emphatic win by a margin of 14,465 votes over his nearest rival K. Mohankumar of the Congress. The constituency had been at the centre of a controversy after the Nair Service Society (NSS) was accused of openly soliciting votes for Mr. Mohankumar. BJP district president S. Suresh came third.

LDF candidate K.U. Jineeshkumar scripted a thrilling victory in Konni with 54,099 votes, winning by a margin of 9,953 votes over UDF’s P. Mohanraj who managed only 44,146 votes.

The contest was tight in Aroor, where the LDF won in 2016. UDF’s Shanimol Usman bagged 69,356 votes to win by a slender margin of 2,079 over her nearest rival Manu C. Pulickal of the LDF (67,277 votes). The NDA’s Prakash Babu came third with 16,289 votes.

The UDF retained its stronghold of Ernakulam, with Kochi Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod of the Congresswinning by a margin of 3,750 votes over LDF-backed Independent Manu Roy.

In Manjeswaram, UDF candidate M.C. Kamaruddin of the IUML won by 7,923 votes. He bagged 65,407 votes while Mr. Kuntar came second with 57,484 votes. LDF’s M. Shankar Rai stood third with 38,233 votes.

While the Manjeswaram bypoll was necessitated by the death of the sitting legislator last year, the other seats fell vacant when the MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 7:57:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ldf-wrests-2-udf-strongholds/article29794481.ece

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