Kerala bypoll: Around 72 per cent voting in Pala assembly constituency
LDF candidate Mani C Kappan, also a former national volleyball player and film producer, said the low-turnout will benefit him.Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 22:38 IST
The high-pitch campaign in Pala assembly by-election in Kottayam failed to enthuse voters, low turnout shows. Though polling was extended to one hour due to heavy rains in the area polling per cent was 72, at least five per cent less than the 2016 polling.
The by-election was necessitated in Pala following death of Kerala Congress (Mani) leader K M Mani who represented the constituency from 1965 and retained it till his death in April this year. The seat is witnessing a fierce three cornered contest between Tom Jose (Kerala Congress), Mani C Kappan (NCP) and NDA’s N Hari.
LDF candidate Mani C Kappan, also a former national volleyball player and film producer, said the low-turnout will benefit him. “It seems people are fed up with ongoing faction feud in the Kerala Congress and they desperately need a change,” he said. But his opponent Tom Jose said his votes were intact. “My winning margin will be more than 10,000 votes. Low turnout will only affect the LDF,” he said. Results will be announced on Sept 28.
Stakes are high for three major players in Pala. For the ruling front it is an opportunity to avenge the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha poll in which it lost all but one of 20 seats. And for the UDF it is a prestigious fight to keep memories of its tall leader alive and to keep its winning streak going. An also-ran in state politics, the BJP also threw its hat in the ring hoping to make some presence in the Christian heartland.