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UDF stuns with surprise victories in Kannur and Pathanamthitta local body bypolls

In the recent bye-elections held across various local self-governing bodies in Kerala, the United Democratic Front (UDF), led by the Congress, managed to snatch two seats from the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kannur and Pathanamthitta districts. Despite this setback, the LDF held onto most of its other seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured only one seat.

One notable upset occurred in Ward 5 of Mylapra Gram Panchayat in Pathanamthitta, where Congress’ Jessy Varghese emerged victorious with a slim majority of 76 votes. This election took place following the unfortunate demise of the panchayat president, Chandrika Sunil of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM]. With this win, the UDF now holds six seats in the panchayat, while the LDF has five seats. Additionally, the BJP and an Independent candidate, who contested as a UDF rebel, hold the remaining two seats.

Furthermore, the UDF secured another win in the Kakkoni ward of Pilathara-Cheruthazham panchayat in Kannur, defeating a sitting candidate from the CPM.

In the Poonjar Gram Panchayat of Kottayam district, the Kerala Janapaksham suffered another setback as its candidate lost to the CPM’s Bindu Asokan by a margin of 12 votes in the Perunnillam ward. However, the LDF managed to retain the Mukkada ward of Manimala Gram Panchayat, also in Kottayam district.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the UDF successfully retained the Kanara ward of Pazhayakunnumel Grama Panchayat.

Notably, T Manikandan, an Independent candidate backed by the LDF, emerged victorious in Peroor of Lakkidi Gram Panchayat in Palakkad district. Similarly, in Ward 11 of Cherthala Municipality, A Aji, another Independent candidate supported by the LDF, secured a significant majority of 310 votes, defeating BJP’s Prem Kumar Karthikeyan (278).

Overall, the bye-elections witnessed a total of 24,504 voters exercising their franchise rights across the 19 local governing bodies. The State Election Commissioner A Shajahan reported a voting percentage of 76.51. These elections covered wards in two corporations, two municipalities, and 15 gram panchayats, spanning nine districts. In total, 60 candidates contested for various positions in these elections.


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