Malappuram Bypoll: Cong-Led UDF Candidate PK Kunhalikutty Wins

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of E Ahamed, a former Union minister and leader of IUML.

Congress-led UDF candidate and IUML General Secretary PK Kunhalikutty won the Malappuram bypoll by a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes.

Counting of votes for the Malappuram bypoll began at 8 am on Monday at Government College, Malappuram. The Lok Sabha constituency, with an electorate of 13 lakh votes, had registered a polling turnout of 71.33 percent.

Apart from PK Kunhalikutty, LDF candidate MB Faisal (CPI-M) and NDA nominee N Sreeprakash of BJP were the main contestants in the fray. Six Independents also tried their luck from the constituency.

The UDF managed to get 4,94,208 votes, the CPI (M) got 3,25,102 votes while the BJP got 62,666 votes.

Seven assembly constituencies in the district – Malappuram, Vengara, Kondotty, Vallikkunnu, Perinthalmanna, Mankada and Manjeri – constitute the Lok Sabha constituency.

The EVMs were kept under tight security cover of state police and central force, they said.

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of E Ahamed, a former Union minister and leader of IUML, a key partner in the Congress-led UDF Opposition in the state.

Though the Muslim-dominated Malappuram was generally considered as a bastion of the IUML, the ruling CPI(M) and the BJP claim that the political wind would blow in a different direction this time.

A total of 71.33 percent voters exercised their franchise in the bypoll against the 71.11 percent recorded in the last Parliament election. Of the total 13,12,693 electorates, 9,36,315 persons – including 4,93,433 women – exercised their franchise.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Ahamed had won the seat by a margin of 1,94,739 votes against the CPI(M)'s PK Sainaba.

(With inputs from The News Minute and PTI.)

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