KOTTAYAM: The people of Puthuppally paid their last respects to their beloved leader Oommen Chandy. In the first by-election held in Kerala’s Puthuppally Assembly constituency following the demise of Oommen Chandy, his son and UDF candidate Chandy Oommen recorded a humongous victory with a record margin of 37,719 votes.
In a keenly watched electoral battle ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls 2024, Oommen defeated LDF’s Jaick C Thomas. As per the reports of the Election Commission, Ommen secured 80,144 votes, while Jaick could ensure only 42,425 votes. Oommen Chandy represented the constituency for the past 53 years till his death in July this year.
Oommen secured the lead right from the beginning of the counting and continued till the last round. He secured an impressive majority in all eight grama panchayats in the constituency. Meanwhile, Jaick trailed even in his own booth in Manarcad panchayat. Significantly, NDA candidate G Lijin Lal failed to show a noticeable fight as the saffron party’s dropped considerably compared to the previous election. He could secure only 6,554 votes against 11694 votes in the Assembly election held in 2021.
Earlier, the counting was delayed by 10 minutes following some confusion over opening the strong room set up at the Baselius College in Kottayam. After counting the postal votes in the initial stage, the counting of EVM votes began at around 8.40 am. As the first votes were counted, Oommen recorded a margin of more than 6,000 votes. While counting the fifth round, Oommen passed his father’s margin (9044 votes) in the previous Assembly election.
Oommen’s margin passed 25,000 when half of the votes were counted. He registered a record margin in the history of Puthuppally constituency in the 10th round of the counting.
Responding to the election results, Congress Working Committee member A. K. Antony said Oommen’s victory was a fitting verdict of the people’s court of Puthuppally.
“The astonishing victory of Oommen showed that the people’s court of Puthuppally has given stringent punishment to those who hunted Oommen Chandy. They should correct their mistakes at least hereafter. They should come forth to apologise for their wrong deeds,” he said.