LDF strongmen no match for PT's enduring legacy in Thrikkakara; UDF registers thumping win again

Uma Thomas speaks to media after winning Thrikkakara bypolls. Photo :Evsrikumar Viswanatha/ Onmanorama

Kochi: The United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Uma Thomas on Friday secured a record margin in the Thrikkakara bypoll held on May 31. 

With over 25,000-vote margin, Uma Thomas secured the highest margin ever in Thrikkakara constituency. She soared past the record lead secured by Benny Behanan (22,406) in 2011 and her late husband PT Thomas (14,329) in 2021.

"A historic victory has been crafted by Thrikkakara residents. This win is dedicated to PT. The results have proven that people-centric development will always triumph," Uma Thomas said while responding to the media.

Meanwhile, CPM Ernakulam district secretary C N Mohanan told the media the verdict was unexpected.

"CPM was not expecting a defeat in the Thrikkakara by-election. The problem was not with the selection of candidate. We had identified the issues of the Thrikkakara residents and operated accordingly. Unfortunately, the mandate did not go in our favour. We shall examine the reason for the loss," Mohanan said.

Congress leaders AK Antony, VD Satheesan, Oomen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala slammed the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his hopes to secure 100 seats in the assembly.

The counting of votes for the Thrikkakara assembly bypoll began at 8am on Friday. The counting is taking place at Maharaja's College, Ernakulam.

The strongroom where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been kept was opened by the officials at 7.30 am in the presence of the candidates and representatives of the political parties.

Uma took the lead from the beginning as soon as the votes were taken up for counting and she managed to maintain the lead all through.

The counting took place on 21 tables. Each table will have a counting supervisor, a counting assistant and a micro-observer. Counting agents of political parties will also be allowed on each table.

The votes were counted in 12 rounds. Votes polled at 21 booths will be counted in each of the 11 rounds. In the final round, votes in eight booths were counted. Votes were cast in 239 booths in the constituency.

While many expected the turnout to be the highest ever since the constituency came into being in 2011, when the polling ended it turned out to be the lowest ever with 68.77 per cent.

The election was necessitated after the sudden demise of Thrikkakara's two time Congress legislator P T Thomas in December last year.

The Congress declared its candidate -- Uma Thomas, widow of late PT Thomas, without any internal squabbles and hit the campaign trail immediately after that.

The CPI-M decided to go for a non-political Catholic Christian candidate -- interventional cardiologist Jo Joseph.

The BJP decided to field party veteran A N Radhakrishnan.

Jo Joseph
LDF candidate Jo Joseph watches election results from Lenin Centre. Photo: Robert Vinod/Manorama

Past results

Formed in 2011, Thrikkakara has elected only Congress MLAs so far. The constituency had witnessed 68.77% polling. The total number of votes were 1,35,279.

The constituency, which was formed in 2011, had elected senior Congress leader Benny Behanan as its first MLA.

In the 2016 assembly election, P T Thomas secured 61,268 votes, which was 45.42 per cent of the electorate, while CPM's Sebastian Paul bagged 49,455 votes. That year, BJP's S Saji secured 21,247 votes.

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    Uma Thomas emerges victorious in Thrikkakara bypoll with record margin of 25,016 votes.

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However, in 2021, Thomas won with a slightly reduced of 59,839 while CPM backed Dr J Jacob got 45,510 votes. Thomas had secured a margin of 14,329. BJP had bagged 15,483 votes in the 2021 polls. Twenty20, a political party backed by industrial group Kitex, had fielded a candidate in 2021 and secured 13,897 votes.

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