Thiruvananthapuram: The results of the bypolls held in 42 wards of various local self-government bodies in Kerala were announced on Wednesday. As per the latest tally the LDF has won 24 wards, followed by UDF (12) and NDA (6) , an outcome that would boost the Left front's confidence in the run-up to the bypoll for the Thrikkakara assembly constituency scheduled at the end of this month.
The bypolls were held in the wards in cities, towns and villages in 12 districts, excluding Wayanad and Kasaragod, on Tuesday.
In all 182 candidates were in the fray. The by-elections were held in 2 municipal corporation wards, 7 municipal wards, two block panchayat divisions and 31 panchayat wards.
In all 78.24% votes were polled. The vote count started at 10 am on Wednesday.
BJP strikes in Ernakulam
The BJP is ahead of the LDF and the UDF in Ernakulam district. It won at three wards out of the six, where civic bypolls were held in the district.
The three in the BJP's kitty are: Ernakulam South in the Kochi Municipal Corporation and the Ilamanathoppu and Pisharikovil wards of the Thrippunithura Municipality.
The LDF has now lost majority in the Thrippunithura Municipality after failing to retain its two seats.
Significantly, the LDF has performed badly in the district, winning just one, as per the civic bypoll results. It took away the Vembilli ward in Kunnathunad Panchayat from the UDF.
The UDF has bagged two: Atthani Town in Nedumbassery Panchayat and Mailur in Varappetty Panchayat.
The UDF retained the Atthani municipal seat, thereby ensuring that it retained its rule in the Nedumbassery Panchayat.
Reacting to the results, BJP state president K Surendran told reporters that it was an important outcome for the party in the run-up to the by-election in Thrikkakara constituency.
He said three out of the six wards won by BJP are in the constituencies neighbouring Thrikkakara, which indicates the mindset of the people of that constituency.
Ranni: The LDF secured the Eetichuvadu (ward no: 5) of Angady Panchayat in Ranni. This ward was a Congress bastion for decades. Here, the LDF-backed Independent Kunjumariamam win with a margin of 179 votes. She got 474 votes, followed by UDF's Susan who bagged 295 votes.
The victory helps LDF to gain majority in the Panchayat.
Kottanad panchayat: The LDF candidate Roby Abraham was declared winner after a luckydraw in the Kottanad ward. He was tied with the UDF candidate after the votes were counted.
Konni: UDF candidate Archana Balan won the 18th ward in Konni Panchayat with a margin of 133 votes. The seat was earlier too held by the UDF.
Ettumanoor: BJP retained the Ambalam ward in the Ettumanoor Municipality in Kottayam district. Its candidate Suresh R Nair won by 83 votes.
BJP secured 307 votes, followed by LDF's Independent who garnered 224 votes.
The LDF won two panchayat wards in Idukki district where the bypolls were held. The seats are Udumbannor and Ayyappankovil -- the former was snatched from the UDF and the latter was retained.
Another one in Idamalakkudi was bagged by the BJP.
The LDF has emerged victorious in two wards in Palakkad district. It won the Kudalloor ward in the Pallasana Panchayat and the Kottakunnu ward of Cherpulassery Municipality.
At Kudalloor, CPM's A Manikandan is the winner by 65 votes. Kottakunnu was won by Bijish Kannan with 419 vote margin.
The UDF retained Ward no: 3 of Mannancherry Panchayat in Alappuzha district. Congress candidate MV Sunilkumar won with a 134-vote lead. The bypoll was held following the death of the panchayat member belonging to the Congress.