After Rejecting Modi Wave 2.0, Kerala Braces for Next Big Challenge of Assembly Bypolls
The Congress-led UDF coalition registered a remarkable victory in Kerala with wins in 19 out of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Kerala might’ve resisted the Narendra Modi ‘wave’ and remained a face-saver for the Congress -- which has nearly been decimated from the national polity -- but the election heat is far from over in the southern state. The election of four current MLAs of the state Assembly as MPs to Lok Sabha and the death of two former legislators will pave the way for six bypolls in Kerala in the next six months.
A total of nine sitting MLAs were fielded in the highly-charged electoral battle, of which four legislators have managed to win. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) fielded six legislators, while only AM Arif, who represents the Aroor assembly constituency, emerged victorious. Meanwhile, all three Congress MLAs in the poll fray have won.
Kerala will also witness bypolls in Pala, the constituency of late KM Mani who represented the seat since its creation in 1965. Mani died on April 9. Manjeshwar is another constituency which will go to polls this time as sitting MLA candidate P Abdul Razak passed away in October last year. In 2016, BJP candidate K Surendran lost the seat by a mere 89 votes.
Vattiyoorkavu, Konni, Aroor and Ernakulam are the assembly seats that will be going to polls soon as their incumbent representatives will step down and head to the Parliament.
K Muraleedharan, the lawmaker from Vattiyoorkavu constituency, defeated CPM’s P Jayarajan in Vadakara constituency, which is presently represented by Kerala PCC President and former union minister, Mullappally Ramachandran. The former Kerala Pradesh Congress committee president was roped in to take on the CPM heavyweight as Mullappally expressed his unwillingness to fight polls this time.
Congress’s Hibi Eden, who represented Ernakulam assembly seat, also won, leaving Union minister KJ Alphons at a distant third. Konni MP Adoor Prakash has been selected as the parliamentarian from Attingal, leaving the assembly seat vacant.
MLA A Pradeep Kumar conceded defeat to Congress’s MK Raghavan in Kozhikode, while CPI's Chittayam Gopakumar contested from Mavelikkara and defeated CPI(M)-backed independent candidate P V Anwar.
CPI leader C Divakaran, who took on senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, didn’t emerge victorious either.
The CPI (M) fielded six sitting MPs and four sitting MLAs, including two women -- PK Sreemathi and Veena George –and all of them except Arif lost the polls. Veena, who was considered to be a strong contender against Anto Antony in Pathanamthittam will remain Aranmula MLA.
Innocent (Chalakkudy constituency), Joice George (Idukki), M B Rajesh (Palakkad), P K Biju (Alathur) and A Sampath (Attingal) are the other sitting MPs who got defeated.
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