PALA: Giving a major shock to UDF, LDF candidate Mani C Kappan is leading by 3000 votes in the by-election from Pala Assembly where the counting of votes are in progress on Friday. Kappan has been leading steadily since counting began at 8 am at Carmel Public School, Pala though both the UDF and LDF candidates secured six each postal ballots.
The first round of counting began with the service ballots. Out of 152 service ballots issued by the returning officer, 14 had been returned.
On completion of the first round, Kappan had a slender lead of 162 votes. He secured 4263 votes as against UDf candidate Jose Tom's 4101 votes. BJP candidate N Hari had 1923 votes at this point.
While the counting entered fourth-round, Kappan was leading by 2838 votes, as per Election Commission. It seems the sympathy wave for back-to-back defeats have worked out for Kappan though CPM itself led the campaign.
The Pala assembly constituency went to the polls on September 23 and recorded a polling percentage of 71.48. In the 2016 elections, Pala constituency had recorded 77 per cent polling. The by-election was necessitated by the death of K M Mani, who had represented the constituency in the assembly for 54 years.