Puthuppally bypoll: Son overtakes father; Chandy Oommen's lead crosses 37000
Chandy Oommen, a Youth Congress leader and active participant in Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra last year won the Puthuppally by-election by 78098 votes, which were held in Kerala's Kottayam district earlier this week.
Counting of votes took place at the Baselius College's special station, with an initial focus on postal and service ballots.
This bypoll was necessitated by the passing of veteran Congress leader Oommen Chandy, who served as the Chief Minister twice and held the seat uninterrupted since 1970. Chandy's son Chandy Oommen stepped in as the Congress candidate.
Puthuppally, with a staggering 1.76 lakh registered voters, saw the establishment of 182 polling stations. During the election, four booths were classified as 'sensitive,' prompting the deployment of additional security measures.
The constituency witnessed a fierce showdown between the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The battle has been marked by heated exchanges in recent weeks, given its significant stakes for both the ruling and opposition fronts in the state.
The Communist Party of India (M) or CPI(M) fielded Jaick C Thomas, a youth wing leader who had previously contested unsuccessfully against Chandy in 2016 and 2021. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a minor player in the constituency, put forth Ligin Lal as its candidate, despite securing less than 10 per cent of the vote share in 2021.
Although the Puthuppally result won't sway the state government, given the LDF's dominant 99-seat majority in the 140-member Assembly, it remains a pivotal political event capturing the nation's attention.