Kerala bypoll: Congress's Uma Thomas wins Thrikkakara Assembly seat by over 25k votestext_fields
The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala suffered a massive political setback on Friday with the opposition Congress-UDF retaining the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency here in the much-awaited bypoll.
The party's candidate Uma Thomas defeated her nearest rival Dr. Jo Joseph of the CPI(M) by a margin of 25,000 votes.
For the UDF, which lost two consecutive Assembly elections in 2016 and 2021, the Thrikkakara bye-poll was a prestigious battle.
Even as six rounds of votes were counted, CPI(M) indicated that the party had lost the elections. CPI(M) Ernakulam district secretary C N Mohanan told the media the verdict was unexpected. "The party would examine the poll outcome," he said.
Congress Ernakulam district president Mohammed Shiyas said the verdict is a fitting reply to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had appeased communal elements to win the by-elections.
The by-election was held in the wake of the death of Congress legislator P T Thomas. Congress has fielded Uma Thomas, the wife of the late legislator, whose death necessitated the by-election. The Left candidate is cardiologist Dr Jo Joseph of the CPI(M). The BJP is also in the fray with its seasoned leader A N Radhakrishnan as the candidate.
Out of 1.96 lakh voters, 1.35 lakh had cast their votes pegging the polling percentage at 68.77 per cent. The voter turnout for the bypoll was relatively the lowest since the Assembly elections of 2011.
For the Left, victory in the bypoll will take its tally in the 140-member House to 100 and is most likely to be interpreted as a mandate for the proposed semi-high-speed SilverLine rail corridor that has received a lot of push-back from the Opposition.