The widow of the late PT Thomas who was the sitting MLA, Uma polled a total of over 72,000 votes.

Uma Thomas and VD Satheesan: UDF’s Uma Thomas wins Thrikkakara bye-election by a margin of 25000 votes
news Elections Friday, June 03, 2022 - 16:52

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has retained its bastion — the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency by a historic margin of more than 25,000 votes. The much-awaited bye-poll saw Congress nominee Uma Thomas win over the Left’s candidate Jo Joseph.

While the CPI(M), which had conducted a grassroot level campaigning under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the constituency, termed the defeat as "unexpected" and a "shock", the jubilant Congress said that their resounding victory was a slap on the face of the second Vijayan government on its first anniversary.

Uma, the widow of prominent party leader and former legislator from the constituency late PT Thomas, showcased an impressive lead in all the 12 rounds of the counting since the beginning. BJP nominee AN Radhakrishnan came third. The bye-poll was necessitated in Thrikkakara, a complete urban constituency which comprises a major chunk of the Kochi Corporation, following the demise of PT Thomas late last year.

Though Thrikkakara has been a Congress bastion, the bye-poll captured the attention of political Kerala as the ruling CPI(M)-led front had conducted an unprecedented grassroot level campaign in the last one month fielding its top leaders and ministers. Chief Minister Vijayan took the leadership of the campaign after his return from the US post treatment on May 10.

Besides Vijayan, all his cabinet ministers and a majority of the MLAs and front leaders camped in the constituency for weeks and made a thorough campaign through house visits and political meetings. Making their proposed K-Rail semi-high speed rail corridor, which is strongly opposed by the Congress-UDF, as a major campaign topic in the constituency, Vijayan had said it was a battle between the proponents of pro-development and anti-development.

Many Left leaders including CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had openly said the bye-poll result would be a referendum on the Vijayan government. Meanwhile, the bye-poll victory was a morale booster for the Congress-UDF which had suffered a huge setback in the Assembly polls held a year ago.

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