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Stellar show by LDF in Vattiyoorkavu and Konni, Cong wrests ‘red fort’ Aroor
Kerala

Stellar show by LDF in Vattiyoorkavu and Konni, Cong wrests ‘red fort’ Aroor

Pennews

It was a 3-2 final score in favour of the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) at the bypolls to the five Assembly seats in Kerala. But ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has more reasons to cheer with the spectacular wresting of UDF bastions Vattiyoorkavu and Konni. But the 'red' fort of Aroor', held by the LDF, was taken over by UDF.

Politically, Vattiyoorkavu and Konni  where LDF appeared to put out a 'secular' image and at least pretended to not succumb to pressures of community organisations, saw it make strides.

Down at third slot during the 2016 Assembly election and behind by over 24,000 votes, the CPM clawed back and Thiruvananthapuram Mayor VK Prashant bagged the seat with a majority of 14,438 votes.

He got 46,067 votes when UDF's K Mohankumar got 33,720 and BJP's S Suresh 24,490. UDF had won the seat in 2016 with a margin of over 7,000 votes.

BJP which had come a second through its trump card, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, in the last election as also the recent Lok Sabha one, was pushed to the third slot. In Konni, held by Congress leader Adoor Prakash for 23 years, stood with Jinesh Kumar of CPM who got a thumping 9,940 majority. A nerve centre of the Sabarimala agitation, Konni pushed BJP star candidate K Surendran to the third slot.

In Aroor, Congress leader Shanimol Usman, who was the lone UDF loser in the recent Lok Sabha election, brought down the Left fort and in a neck-and-neck fight wrested the seat with a near 2,000-vote majority.

Congress retained its stronghold Ernakulam, though with a lower margin of 3,750. There is no stellar performance as Congress candidate TJ Vinod could be no near the over 21,000 majority for the party in 2016. Rain had brought down the voting to just over 51 per cent. LDF Independent Manu Roy saw his namesake get over 2,000 votes.

Manjeswaram was retained by UDF with a majority of just 7,923 votes, where BJP's K Surendran had lost by less than 100 votes. BJP, this time, retained the second position and CPM came a poor third.