Kerala: Chandy’s son wins his Puthupally seat in bypolls

Oommen convincingly defeated LDF’s Jaick C Thomas

| Updated: 09 September, 2023 11:37 am IST
Chandy Oommen, the son of the late former CM Oommen Chandy, secures a resounding victory in the Puthupally by-election

KOTTAYAM: In a historic victory, Chandy Oommen, son of the late former CM Oommen Chandy, clinched the Puthupally by-election with a commanding lead of 37,719 votes. This electoral triumph follows the unfortunate passing of his father, who served as the MLA for the past 53 years.

In a fierce prelude to the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls, Oommen convincingly defeated LDF’s Jaick C Thomas. According to the Election Commission’s official tally, Ommen secured a resounding 80,144 votes, while Jaick could muster only 42,425 votes.

Chandy Oommen secured 61.17% of the vote share, while Jaick trailed behind with a vote share of 32.38%.

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The election results are attributed to a combination of the sympathy wave and anti-incumbency sentiments against the LDF (Left Democratic Front) government, which has been in power for its sixth consecutive year since the 2021 assembly elections.

Chandy Oommen maintained a consistent lead from the outset of the vote count, securing an overwhelming majority in all eight gram panchayats within the constituency. Notably, Jaick faced defeat even in his own booth in Manarcad panchayat and at Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan’s booth in Pampady.

CPI (M) state secretary Govindan Master played down the Congress victory, attributing it to the “sentimental wave” following the demise of Ummen Chandy rather than reflecting on the LDF’s governance and development policies.

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“We respect the Puthuppally verdict. Our vote share has not decreased, and in fact, it has increased compared to the 2021 polls, reaching 42,000. However, the main factor behind this victory is the sympathy wave and the sentiments attached to the loss of Oommen Chandy. Our core voter base remains intact, as evident from the results. This election should not be considered a referendum on the LDF government,” stated MV Govindan Master while addressing the media following the vote count.

Speaking to the media after the results were declared, Chandy Oommen pledged to follow in his father’s footsteps to further develop the constituency.

“I consider this as my father’s 13th victory. I assure the people that I will live up to their expectations. Their votes signify a continuation of the development that my father has tirelessly championed for the past 53 years. I am here to continue his legacy,” he affirmed.

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