Kuttanad, Chavara assembly bypolls cancelled

Bypolls to Kuttanad, Chavara assembly seat shelved

The bypolls in  two Assembly constituencies in Kerala -- Kuttanad and Chavara -- have been cancelled.

The Central Election Commission took the decision based on the reports from State Chief Secretary and State Election Commission.

The reports were prepared on the basis of the objections raised by all major political parties in the state against conducting the bypolls for electing MLAs for a short period of time.

All political parties had reached a consensus against the bypolls at a meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan early this month. The parties argued that even if the elections were held, the newly-elected MLAs will get only less than five months in office.

They also cited the risk involved in conducting the polls amid the rising COVID cases in the state. The parties have also sought to postpone the local body elections slated for November.

Kerala election officer Teeka Ram Meena said the CEC decision was much expected. "My office would now be concentrating on the works for the Assembly polls due next year," he said.

The bypolls to Kuttanad and Chavara were necessitated following the death of legislators Thomas Chandy and Vijayan Pillai, both belonging to the ruling LDF.

The results of the bypolls would not have affected the equations in the state assembly as the LDF enjoys a comfortable majority against the Congress-led UDF.

However, the outcome of the polls, if conducted, could have offered insights into the political trends in the state as the two constituencies could not be considered the strongholds of either LDF or UDF. Both the fronts had exuded confidence that they would in both seats.

The Central Election Commission has also cancelled the bypolls various constituencies in Tamil Nadu, Assam and West Bengal.

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