BJP loses its sole Assembly seat

Sivankutty defeats Kummanam by 3,949 votes , K. Muraleedharan comes third

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost its sole seat in the Assembly when Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) candidate V. Sivankutty defeated Kummanam Rajasekharan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by 3,949 votes.

Congress leader and K. Muraleedharan, MP, who had a much-hyped campaign launch, turned up a distant third. In the constituency, which the BJP had dubbed as the “Gujarat of Kerala”, Mr. Sivankutty polled 55,837 votes, Mr. Rajasekharan 51,888 votes, and Mr. Muraleedharan 36,524 votes.

Upstaged mid-way

In the initial phases of counting, it appeared to be a close fight between the LDF and the BJP.

Though Mr. Rajasekharan had gained an early lead, Mr. Sivankutty upstaged him towards the halfway mark and slowly pulled away a comfortable lead as the votes polled from the coastal booths began to be counted.

Reacting to mediapersons after sealing his victory, Mr. Sivankutty said the victory was an answer to BJP’s electoral campaign claim that it would turn Nemom into Kerala’s Gujarat.

“During the campaign, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the LDF will close BJP’s account in Kerala. We have now implemented that promise. Muraleedharan should resign from his MP post if he has any respect for democracy,” said Mr. Sivankutty.

In 2016, BJP’s O. Rajagopal had won by a margin of 8,671 votes over Mr. Sivankutty.

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