Thrikkakara assembly bypoll: Congress’s Uma Thomas wins by 25,000 votes

Thrikkakara assembly bypoll: Congress’s Uma Thomas wins by 25,000 votes

The Thrikkakara by-election was held in the wake of the death of Congress legislator P T Thomas.

The Congress retained the Assembly seat of Thrikkakara, where counting of votes for the March 31 bypoll was held Friday. The party’s candidate Uma Thomas defeated her nearest rival Dr Jo Joseph of the CPI(M) by a margin of 25,000 votes.

Even as six rounds of votes were counted, CPI(M) indicated that the party had lost the elections. CPI(M) Ernakulam district secretary C N Mohanan told the media the verdict was unexpected. “The party would examine the poll outcome,” he said.

Congress Ernakulam district president Mohammed Shiyas said the verdict is a fitting reply to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had appeased communal elements to win the by-elections.

Thrikkakara assembly bypoll: Congress’s Uma Thomas wins by 25,000 votes
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi loses from both seats in Assembly elections

The by-election was held in the wake of the death of Congress legislator P T Thomas. Congress has fielded Uma Thomas, the wife of the late legislator, whose death necessitated the by-election. The Left candidate is cardiologist Dr Jo Joseph of the CPI(M). The BJP is also in the fray with its seasoned leader A N Radhakrishnan as the candidate.

Out of 1.96 lakh voters, 1.35 lakh had cast their votes pegging the polling percentage at 68.77 per cent. The voter turnout for the bypoll was relatively the lowest since the Assembly elections of 2011.

For the Left, victory in the bypoll will take its tally in the 140-member House to 100 and is most likely to be interpreted as a mandate for the proposed semi-high-speed SilverLine rail corridor that has received a lot of push-back from the Opposition. For the Congress, it will be an electoral test for its new state leadership led by K Sudhakaran, the current state unit president, and Opposition leader V D Satheesan. It will also provide a broad indication of whether Christian votes are with the party. The community forms around 40 per cent of the electorate in Thrikkakara, but in recent times, several Christian faces have exited the Congress. The UDF has won the constituency since 2011.

Over the past month, leaders from across the political spectrum have been on a door-to-door campaigns in this urban constituency that consists of a part of the Kochi municipal corporation area and the municipality of Thrikkakara, which is a temple town.

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