Kerala bypolls give fresh hope to BJP

Kerala bypolls give fresh hope to BJP

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As bypolls to five Assembly seats in Kerala have been announced, the BJP is pinning high hopes of improving its position in Kerala Assembly as it came second in two of these seats in 2016 elections.

The BJP won a seat in the Assembly for the first time in 2016 with veteran leader O Rajagopal at Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram city.

The BJP finished second at Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram and Manjeswaram in Kasargod, which are now going to bypolls on October 21.

BJP leader and former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, who came second at Vattiyoorkavu, is likely to be the bypoll candidate.

K Muraleedharan of the Congress, who won in 2016, got elected to the Lok Sabha.

At Manjeswaram BJP's firebrand leader K Surendran lost by just 89 votes to Indian Union Muslim League's Abdul Razak. While Surendran is BJP's probable candidate, Ravish Thantri Kuntar, who contested the Lok Sabha polls, is also reportedly staking claims.

Konni in Pathanamthiita district, Aroor in Alappuzha and Ernakulam are the three other seats going to bypolls.

Konni is close to Sabarimala temple and hence the BJP has some hopes there.

Congress leader Adoor Prakash, who won the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat this time, was Konni's MLA since 1996.

CPM's A M Arif, who had been Aroor MLA since 2006, was the lone left-front candidate to win in the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala this time.

He won the Alappuzha seat.

Ernakulam Assembly seat, which is going to bypoll as Congress MLA Hibi Eden got elected to Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat, is also considered as pro-Congress seat.

Meanwhile, the bypoll to the Pala Assembly seat in Kottayam, which became vacant after the death of Kerala Congress leader K M Mani who had been Pala's MLA for 54 years, is being held on Monday.

With the ruling left-front having a comfortable majority of about 40 seats in Kerala Assembly, the bypolls would not affect the government.

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