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Kerala Assembly bypolls: Left wins Pala seat after 54 years of Congress rule

The Assembly bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator and Kerala Congress (Mani) chief KM Mani in April.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has registered a big win in Kerala’s Pala Assembly bypolls where the Kerala Congress (M), represented by KM Mani, had been in power for the past 54 years.

The Assembly bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator and Kerala Congress (Mani) chief KM Mani in April. Mani had represented Pala since 1965 and the constituency will see a new MLA after a gap of over five decades.

The Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) Mani C Kappen won Pala constituency by over 2,000 votes from his rival Jose Tom Pullikunnel of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the assembly by-election held on Monday.

Kerala Congress (Mani) is the third biggest ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front and had named Pullikunnel as its candidate. However, differences within the party led Pullikunnel to opt out and contest as an ‘Independent’ supported by the UDF.

The winner, Kappen is from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is an ally of the LDF in Kerala.

Kappen, surrounded by supporters at his home said, “I was certain of his win and history had been created.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Kottayam BJP head N Hari as its candidate.

The bypoll held on Monday saw 1,27,939 electorates casting their votes which decided the fate of 13 candidates. The counting of votes took place in 14 rounds.

This win comes as a big boost for LDF after its poor show in Lok Sabha Elections 2019 held a few months back where it managed to win just one seat in Kerala, where the Left has been traditionally strong.