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In bypoll for seat of late Congress veteran Oommen Chandy, son records historic win | Political Pulse News

The Congress pulled off a massive victory in the by-election for the Puthuppally Assembly seat in Kerala, long held by its late veteran Oommen Chandy.

After the 10th round of counting, Congress candidate Chandy Oommen already had a lead of around 37,000 votes over his LDF rival, the CPI(M)’s Jaick C Thomas. This was already more than his father Oommen Chandy’s highest winning margin of 33,255 votes, in the 2011 Assembly elections.

congress celebrations Congress party members take to streets to celebrate as early trend suggested Chandy Oommen’s victory

Chandy has so far had a clear lead in all booths, through every round of counting, ensuring at least 60% of polled votes, while Jaick’s share has not gone above 30% at any time. BJP candidate G Ligin Lal trails far behind, with only 6.41% of the votes counted so far, which could be its poorest performance so far.

The overwhelming support for Chandy is also indicated in the fact that he is holding a clear edge in all the eight panchayats, though the CPI(M) has been ruling six of them since 2020. Jaick is trailing far behind even in his home panchayat of Manarcad.

The CPI(M) had fielded Jaick for the third consecutive time, hoping that as the party’s youth face from Christian community, he could rewrite the history of Puthuppally.

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In the polling held on September 5, as many as 1.28 lakh voters had cast votes. The bypoll saw high voting of 72.86%, among 1.76 lakh voters. This was a slight fall in polling compared to the 2021 Assembly elections, when the constituency had a voter turnout of 74.84%.

Ramesh Chennithala Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala along with party members keenly track bypoll results

The Congress heavily banked upon the goodwill that Chandy Sr had developed with the people of the constituency over the last five decades, apart from projecting the bypoll as a referendum on the two-year-old second term of CM Pinarayi Vijayan. The party is projecting Chandy Jr as the heir of his father.

The ruling CPI(M)’s narrative was development, with the theme of its campaign being that Puthuppally had been deprived of the progress that the rest of Kerala has seen, by putting all its eggs in the Congress basket. Party leaders highlighted the development initiatives under the LDF regime in Kerala since 2016 – reinforced by several “micro-level development conventions” the party has held here – and contrasted it with “the lack of proper infrastructure and basic amenities” in Puthuppally.

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