Congress candidate in Kerala dedicates win to late father

Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 (IANS) Congress candidate K.A. Sabarinathan who on Tuesday won the Aruvikara assembly seat by over 10,000 votes dedicated the win to his late father.

“For 24 years my father represented this constituency and the electorate gave this win for the work he did,” Sabarinathan said.

“This victory is also for the agenda of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy whose ‘development and care’ work has been accepted,” he added.

His mother M.T. Sulekha said it was too early to say if her son would perform better than her husband, assembly speaker G. Karthikeyan who died in March, necessitating the election.

CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan said the victory of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state happened because they broke all election rules.

“They misused their office to win this election. This loss will help us to regroup and come together and work even harder for the upcoming local body election later this year,” said Vijayan.

CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan too dismissed the party’s loss.

“A loss in one election means nothing because it will help us to work much harder for the forthcoming polls,” said Balakrishnan.

According to the official website of the chief electoral officer, Sabarinathan secured 56,448 votes and the official declaration is expected shortly.

The constituency essentially witnessed a triangular contest between the CPI-M, the Congress and the BJP.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist nominated 67-year-old former speaker and minister M. Vijayakumar.

The Bharatiya Janata Party put up its regular warhorse O. Rajagopal, 85.

Vijayakumar secured 46,320 votes and Rajagopal got 34,145 votes.

There were a total of 16 candidates in the fray and 184,210 voters — up from 164,884 in 2011 when Karthikeyan won by over 10,000 votes. The turnout was at 70 percent.

Sabarinathan handed out a defeat to Vijayakumar who in his debut election in 1987 defeated sitting legislator Karthikeyan at the Thiruvananthapuram north constituency.

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