Big gains for UDF in local body bypolls in Kerala

As per the current figures the LDF won 15 seats, the UDF 11 and the BJP 2. Photo: Manorama.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has won most of the seats in the bypolls held to 28 local self-government body wards and divisions held across Kerala. However, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) made major gains at the expense of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Results of the counting which took place on Wednesday showed that LDF lost at least six seats, five of which were captured by the UDF and one by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is headed by the BJP. Meanwhile, LDF retained 13 seats and captured only one, as per the results available at 1 pm.

As per the current figures the LDF won 15, the UDF 11 and the BJP 2.

The results are likely to lead to loss of power for the LDF in Erumely Panchayat in Kottayam district. At Ozhakkanda ward in the panchayat, Anitha Santhosh of the UDF defeated Pushpa Babu of the LDF by 232 votes. With Anitha’s win, the UDF now has more members in the panchayat.

Meanwhile, the UDF regained the Pala Kadaplamattom Vayala ward, also in Kottayam district, from the Kerala Congress.

Another notable victory for the UDF was at third division of the Kollam Corporation where it captured a sitting seat from the CPM. Deepu Gangadharan of the RSP, a partner of the Congress in the UDF, defeated LDF’s Sandhyaraju Neelakandan by a margin of 638 votes.

At the same time, the LDF retained Kunnikkode ward in Vilakudy Panchayat and Thevarthottam ward in Edamulakkal Panchayat. At Thevarthottam, the BJP was placed second and the Congress third.

At Kakkaramukku ward in Cheruvannoor, Kozhikode, UDF captured the seat from the LDF. As UDF currently rules the panchayat based on a draw of lots, the front has comfortably retained power here.

The UDF retained all the four wards in Malappuram district where bypolls took place.

The front increased its majority in Chakkittamala ward in Karulayi Panchayat and retained power. UDF candidate Karuvadan Sundaran of the Indian Union Muslim League defeated Jithin Wandooran of the LDF by 68 votes. Jithin had resigned from the Muslim League and contested with LDF support.

At Azhathukulam ward in Thirunavaya Gram Panchayat, Solomon Victor of the Congress won by 143 votes. Last time, a Congress rebel was the winner here.

Ward 7 of A R Nagar Gram Panchayat was secured by P K Firdous of the Congress with a margin of 690 votes.

Sameera Karimban of the Muslim League retained Ward 5 of Oorakam Panchayat by a 353-vote margin.

Other places
The UDF captured from the LDF a ward in Kadakkavoor in Thiruvananthapuram district. Meanwhile, LDF’s K C Ajitha retained Kottoor ward of Srikandapuram Municipality in Kannur district by 189 votes.

LDF’s other victories include: E P Rajan (CPM) at Ward 8 (Valliyode) in Mayyil panchayat; Ward 1 in Peravoor panchayat; Thayankary West in Edathua panchayat in Alappuzha; Ward 14 in Erumappetty Kadangode panchayat; Pothanikkad in Ernakulam and Kadambazhipuram in Palakkad.

UDF retained Ward 7 at Aanakkara, Palakkad.

NDA’s victories
The NDA captured Ambattubhagom ward in Kallooppara from the CPM. The BJP retained Thanneermukkom ward.

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