KOCHI: With the filing of nomination papers for the byelection in Ernakulam assembly constituency over, major political parties swung into poll mode on Monday and launched a brisk campaigning without wasting time. LDF-backed Independent Manu Roy, UDF candidate TJ Vinodh of Congress and NDA nominee C G Rajagopal of BJP, who filed their nomination papers on Monday, found time to seek the blessings of important personalities and religious leaders before launching the campaign.
The LDF also held an election convention at Marine Drive in the evening which was inaugurated by convenor A Vijayaraghavan.Manu Roy submitted his nomination papers to City Rationing Officer N J Shajimon at 11am on Monday. He was accompanied by CPM district secretary C N Mohanan, CPI district secretary P Raju, Janata Dal (S) district president Sabu George and others. The LDF workers took out a march from Ernakulam area committee office to the City Rationing Office to file the nomination. MLAs S Sarma, M Swaraj, K J Maxi, CPM state secretariat member P Rajeev and state committee member C M Dinesh Mani led the march.
Manu Roy, who expressed confidence about his victory, said he was expecting autorickshaw, pot or football as the election symbol. Congress candidate T J Vinodh started his day by attending the Holy Mass at Palarivattom St John Baptist Church at 6.30am on Monday. Later, he sought the blessings of Karukappally Juma Masjid Khatheeb Ashraf Sakhafi and SNDP Yogam leader M N Soman. At 11am, he arrived at the City Rationing Office along with Hibi Eden MP, MLAs V D Satheesan, Anwar Sadath, Mayor Soumini Jain, former minister K Babu and filed the nomination papers. Later, he visited prominent personalities in the city. Former Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan will inaugurate the UDF election committee office at Hospital Road in the city at 11am on Tuesday.
BJP candidate C G Rajagopal offered prayers at the TD temple in the city before filing his nomination papers on Monday. Leaders of the Gouda Saraswatha Brahmin Vikas Parishad donated the deposit amount for the candidate. He paid floral tributes at the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Sree Narayana Guru before proceeding to file the nomination papers. BJP national executive member C K Padmanabhan accompanied him.