KOCHI: The LDF won 21 seats in the bypolls to 39 local self-government wards in the state on Friday. The UDF fetched 12 seats, the BJP and SDPI two each. In Thiruvananthapuram, the UDF won two seats and lost one to the CPM. UDF wrested a seat previously held by the LDF in the lone bypoll held in Kollam. The SDPI wrested a seat from the LDF in the bypoll to the Pandalam municipality in Pathanamthitta. Congress came second and CPM third in the triangular contest. A UDF rebel candidate won the bypoll in Pathanamthitta municipality. The seat was previously held by the CPM.
The LDF won all the seats in the by-polls held in five local bodies in Ernakulam. The bypolls were held in three panchayats, one Municipality division and one block panchayat.
In Madaplathuruth East, ward 9 of Vadakkekara panchayat, CPM candidate T A Jose won by a margin of 181 votes. While Jose got 608 votes, Congress candidate K A Wilson came second with 427 votes. In ward 22 in Elamkunnapuzha panchayat, CPM candidate Sambathkumar V K win by 47 votes. Independent candidate Sunil came second here with 319 votes. In Paravur block panchayat’s Vavakkad division, CPI candidate Rajitha Shankar win by a margin of 821 votes.Congress candidate Padmavathy got 2,106 votes.
In Tripunithura Municipality 49 division, CPM candidate K J Joshy won by 450 votes. While Joshy got 843 votes, BDJS candidate Anil Nagappa, who came second got 393 votes. In Kottuvally panchayat’s Cheriyappilly 22 ward, LDF independent Asha won by a margin of 92 votes.
“Out of the five, three seats were reclaimed from the UDF,” said CPM district secretary C N Mohanan. “The BJP, as well as the Congress, are trying to tarnish the image of the government by spreading fake news in the wake of the Sabarimala issue. However, the results have proven the people have rejected their false campaigns and attempts to create violence. The voters have given their support to the secular government.”
He said the BJP and Congress should realise it is a big blow to their attempts to make Sabarimala a battlefield by creating riots. “It should be specially noted in some seats where Congress tasted defeat, they were pushed to the third place,” added Mohanan.
The LDF retained the two wards in the local body byelections held on Thursday. In Bedadka panchayat's Beembumgal ward, the CPM's Biju Thayal defeated Congress's Kunhikrishnan Madakkal by 543 votes. The surprise outcome of the election was the performance of the Congress and the BJP. The BJP, which was number 2 in the ward, was relegated to the third position this time. The party's candidate Sadasivan got only 143 votes. In 2015, it polled 231 votes.
The Congress, which had polled only 86 votes in 2015, got 185 votes this time. To be sure, the CPM polled fewer votes this time than in 2015. In Kayyur-Cheemeni panchayat's Cheriyakkara ward, the CPM's P Indira won by 300 votes. She polled 657 votes. The UDF's K Priya got 357 votes. In both the panchayats, the CPM enjoys a brutal majority.