Puthuppally gets its new Chandy

While counting the fifth round of votes in the by-election, Oommen passed his father’s margin in the last assembly election (9044 votes).

Published: 08th September 2023 07:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2023 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

UDF candidate Chandy Oommen won the Puthuppally bypoll. (Express)

UDF candidate Chandy Oommen won the Puthuppally bypoll. (Express)

Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: The voters of Puthuppally have paid a last befitting tribute to their beloved Oommen Chandy. In a by-election where anti-incumbency coupled with an Oommen Chandy sympathy wave played a crucial role, UDF candidate Chandy Oommen recorded an astounding victory with a record margin of 37,719 votes.

In a keenly-watched electoral battle which could well be a prelude to the 2024 Lok Sabha poll, Oommen defeated CPM's Jaick C Thomas with the second-highest margin in the history of by-elections in the state.

While Oommen secured 80,144 votes with a vote share of 61.17%, Jaick could garner only 42,425 votes with a vote share of 32.38%.

This is Jaick's third successive loss at Puthuppally.

Significantly, NDA candidate G Lijin Lal failed to showcase a noticeable fight, as the saffron party’s votes dropped considerably compared to the previous election. He could secure only 6,554 votes against 11,694 votes in the 2021 assembly election.

The BJP vote share plummeted to 5.01% from 8.87% in 2021.

Oommen secured a steady lead right from the beginning of the counting and continued it till the last round.

He won an impressive majority in all eight grama panchayats in the constituency.

Notably, Jaick was pushed behind even in his own booth in Manarcad panchayat and Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan’s booth in Pampady.

Earlier, the counting was delayed by 10 minutes following some confusion over opening the strong room at Baselius College in Kottayam.

Postal votes were counted initially and counting of EVM votes began by 8.40 am.

As the first round of counting was completed, Oommen recorded a margin of 5,487 votes.

While counting the fifth round, Oommen passed his father’s margin in the last assembly election (9044 votes).

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.

Speaking to the media after the results were out, Oommen said he would follow his father’s footsteps in lifting the constituency into the path of development.

“I consider this as the 13th victory of my father. I assure that I will keep up the expectations of the people. They have voted for the continuation of the development. My father was here for the past 53 years with care and development. I would be here to continue the same,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jaick said the LDF has not lost its political base in the constituency, but couldn’t counter the sympathy wave.

“When we compare the election results with that of previous elections, we can see that LDF has not lost its political base. I can’t see any lapse anywhere in the election work. However, it was not easy for the LDF to win an election which was held in an emotional situation prevailing in the constituency,” he said.

Chandy Oommen will be sworn-in as MLA at the legislative assembly on Monday, when the House reconvenes after a break. 

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