Chengannur: The Chengannur bypoll will be held on May 28 and the votes will be counted on May 31.
The byelection was necessitated by the death of sitting MLA K K Ramachandran Nair, who defeated the hat-trick winner P C Vishnunath from the Congress in 2016.
The notification for the poll will be issued on May 3 with May 10 being the last date for filing of nominations and May 14 the last date for withdrawal, Kerala chief electoral officer Tika Ram Meena told reporters here.
Meena said the constituency's total electorate stands at 1,88,702 besides 228 NRI voters and 164 polling stations will be set up for the election. He also said that the code of conduct has come into force.
In the 2016 election, Nair had scored 52,880 votes, while Vishnunath scored only 44,897 votes. BJP’s P S Sreedharan Pillai won 42,282 votes to shock both the rival fronts.
Who are the candidates this time?
Seeking to wrest the seat back from the CPM, the Congress has deputed KPCC executive committee member D Vijayakumar to fight the bypoll.
A local resident, Vijayakumar, was almost chosen as the Congress candidate in 1991. The UDF expects to cash in on his elaborate personal connections across the constituency.
The incumbent CPM has fielded its district secretary Saji Cherian, an active presence across the district with varied activities including palliative care.
Sreedharan Pillai, with his impressive performance last time, was BJP's natural choice for a candidate.
The assembly byelection in Chengannur is keenly watched across the country because the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPM), the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are fighting each other.
Chengannur has been a launchpad for many leaders. It has also seen veterans biting the dust. The constituency is a microcosm of Kerala, with every community finding representation here.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has won eight of the 13 elections from the constituency so far, while the LDF won five times.
The Congress, the CPM, the CPI, the Kerala Congress, Congress-S and the NDP have all tried their luck in the constituency.