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Puthuppally Bypoll: Sympathy Wave, Not Anti-LDF Vote, Says MV Govindan

In the aftermath of the Puthuppally bypoll, CPM state secretary M V Govindan provided his perspective on the outcome. He emphasized that UDF candidate Chandy Oommen’s victory was primarily driven by a sympathy wave and firmly dismissed any claims that it represented a verdict against LDF’s governance. Govindan pointed to Chandy Oommen’s own acknowledgment of his victory as a continuation of Oommen Chandy’s legacy, underlining the undeniable influence of the sympathy factor in this election.

Furthermore, Govindan highlighted a significant decline in the BJP’s vote share, raising suspicions of potential support for the UDF. He stressed that interpreting the bypoll result as a reflection of public dissatisfaction with the LDF government’s rule would be a mistake.

During a media address, the CPM secretary openly acknowledged the defeat and hinted at substantial plans to gain voter support in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This acknowledgment signaled the party’s intent to address the challenges posed by the election outcome and strategize for the future.

The Puthuppally bypoll saw the Congress-led UDF successfully retaining the Assembly constituency in Kerala, with Chandy Oommen securing victory by a substantial margin of over 36,000 votes, according to Election Commission sources. Chandy Oommen, the son of the late Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy, maintained a lead from the initial rounds, while his closest rival and LDF candidate, Jaick C Thomas, struggled to gain ground throughout the counting process.

Remarkably, the LDF also faced setbacks in its traditional strongholds, and the BJP candidate, Ligin Lal, was not a significant contender in the election. Chandy Oommen, at the age of 37 and currently serving as the chairman of the Youth Congress’s national outreach cell, appeared poised to surpass his father’s record margin of 33,255 votes in the constituency.

This bypoll result, coming just a few months ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, is perceived as a significant setback for the ruling CPM. The party has been grappling with allegations of corruption and nepotism from the opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP, adding to the complexities of the political landscape.


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