UDF wins big in local body bypolls in Kerala

The CPM flag. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had a fantastic outing winning 17 of the 33 seats in the recent byelections to various local bodies in the state, the results of which were announced on Wednesday. While the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 10 seats, the BJP-led NDA won four seats. Independent candidates won in two seats.
Across 14 districts, the by-elections were held for one district panchayat, five block panchayats, three municipalities and 24 grama panchayat wards. A total of 114 candidates sought the mandate.

While the BJP captured the sitting seat of the CPM in Thiruvananthapuram, UDF won all four seats in Kozhikode and two seats in Ernakulam. Meanwhile, the BJP retained both of its seats in Alappuzha. In Palakkad, the UDF won four seats, including a sitting seat of the LDF. The LDF and NDA won one ward each.

Satheesan claims UDF wave
Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan on Wednesday claimed that there was a UDF wave in the civic body bypolls. Of the 17 seats won by UDF, the front wrested five from the LDF, he said. “Compared to the results in 2020 local body elections, we won six more seats. It shows a clear upper hand for the UDF. Moreover, we lost one seat only by one vote and two others by four and 30 votes. Otherwise it would have been 20 out of 33,” he said.

In response to Minister V N Vasavan’s reported remark that the people of Kanjirappally alone can blow the entire Youth Congress away, Satheesan equated the civic bypoll results to a small blow by the people. “When the real blow comes, let’s see who will be getting blown away,” he said.

C Archana of the BJP defeated Krishna Kumari of the CPM by 173 votes in the Manambur ward of Aruvikkara panchayat, where the CPM is in power. Manambur was earlier held by the CPM.

All four wards favoured the UDF. N B Prakash won of Ward 16 in Villiappally, Vadakara -- a CPM sitting seat-- with 311 votes. Siraj Cheruvallath of Ward 5 in Pullaloor, Madavoor won with 234 votes. Valappil Rasaq of Ward 13 in Parammal, Mavoor won with 171 votes. Anas Nangady of Kodiyoora ward in Vanimel, which was held by IUML rebel candidate Chelakkadan Kunhammad, won with 444 votes.

Santhosh Kaniyamparambil of the BJP defeated T A Nasser of the LDF by 186 votes in Ward 32 of the Kayamkulam municipality. UDF candidate Tensy Ajayan came third here. AAP candidate Haridas Sivaraman secured a mere eight votes. The bypoll was conducted as D Aswini Dev of the BJP, who had won by a margin of six votes in the previous election, could not attend council meetings for a long time after suffering serious injuries in an accident.

Meanwhile, Sujanya Gopi of the BJP won the Thiruvanvandoor division of Chenagannur block panchayat by a margin of 1,452 votes. The UDF candidate came second here. The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of Sujanya’s husband T Gopi.

The UDF retained both the wards in Ernakulam. Binitha Peter of the Congress secured a majority of 86 votes over her nearest rival in Ward 10 of Vadavukode – Puthencruz grama panchayat. The majority of the Congress was 323 votes in the previous poll.

Meanwhile, Antrose P Scaria (Congress) won by 100 votes in Ward 13 of Ramamangalam panchayat. The bypoll took place here following the demise of panchayat president E P George in a road accident.


In the Ward 6 of the Vadakancheri Grama Panchayat (Anjumurthy), the UDF candidate G. Satheesh Kumar won by a majority of 325 votes. UDF won the sitting seat of LDF. In the ward 14 of the Patithara Grama Panchayat (Thalakassery), the UDF candidate CP Muhammad won with a majority of 142 votes. The UDF won the sitting seat of the LDF. 
UDF candidate AK Rasheed Thangal won with a majority of 93 votes and retained the UDF seat in the Thirumittakode Gram Panchayat Ward 11 (Pallipadam). Malampuzha Block Panchayat Division 6 (Kannode) was won by the UDF candidate Pratyush Kumar with a majority of 1,549 votes and retained the UDF seat.

The BJP candidate Sanjumon won with a majority of 192 votes and retained Ottapalam Municipality Ward - 7 (Palat Road). Palakkad District Panchayat Division 24 (Vaniamkulam) was retained by the LDF candidate C Abdul Khader with a majority of 10,207 votes.

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