Nation Politics 25 Oct 2019 Red flag hoisted in ...

Red flag hoisted in Konni after 23 years

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 25, 2019, 2:02 am IST
Updated Oct 25, 2019, 2:02 am IST
People squarely rejected factionalism in the UDF and the usual Sabarimala bait of the BJP to stand by the LDF.
LDF workers celebrate their victory with candidate Janeesh Kumar after the bypoll result was declared in Konni constituency in Pathanamthitta on Thursday (Photo: Rajeev Prasad)
 LDF workers celebrate their victory with candidate Janeesh Kumar after the bypoll result was declared in Konni constituency in Pathanamthitta on Thursday (Photo: Rajeev Prasad)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/KOLLAM: The LDF has hoisted its red flag in Konni after 23 long years, defeating community cards its opponents played.

People squarely rejected factionalism in the UDF and the usual Sabarimala bait of the BJP to stand by the LDF.

 

LDF candidate K.U. Janeesh Kumar won the seat with a huge majority of 9,953 votes, defeating P. Mohanraj of the UDF fielded by the Congress.

Adoor Prakash, who vacated the seat for Lok Sabha, had won here in 2016 by a margin of 20,748 votes. He was repeatedly winning the predominantly left constituency since 1996.

Mr Kumar, 35, the DYFI state vice-president and CPM Pathanamthitta district committee member, is the youngest of the candidates this round of byelections. He had started as an underdog in the campign as the party had no recent victories in the segment to show off.  

 

The opponents had raised several allegations against him, including over his academic qualifications, which the voters rejected.

Meanwhile, the Congress camp blames Mr Prakash for half-heartedly supporting its candidate. He and the Pathanamthitta DCC were at loggerheads as he batted for his loyalist Robin Peter, while the NSS wanted Mr Mohanraj. Mr Prakash had made a late appearance in the inaugural rally of Mr Mohanraj and was conspicuous by his absence at the finale, raising suspicions about his commitment to the campiagn.

The BJP's K. Surendran could not benefit from their propaganda focusing on Sabarimala. Mr Surendran, who offered a tight fight in the last Lok Sabha election as a candidate from the Pathanamthitta seat, had polled 46,506 votes, scoring 500-odd votes less than that of the LDF candidate. He, however, was unable to repeat the feat in the byelection with a lower 39,786 votes and ended in the third-place while LDF got 54,099 and the UDF, 44,146 votes.

 

Mr Surendran had initially showed little interest in fighting the bypoll and had said he was opting out of even being a candidate in Manjeshwaram, where he lost the 2016 assembly election by a whisker. The party, however, hoped to cash in on the Sabarimala issue in a constituency which is close to the hill temple so that it could claim a second seat in the assembly and keep the pot boiling till the next assembly elections.    

The LDF claims a systematic organisational work at the grassroots and the appreciation for its governance were crucial in the Konni win.

 

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