Vengara by-election: IUML's KNA Khader trumps CPM, wins by over 23000 votes

The counting for the by-election took place on Sunday

Muslim League candidate KNA Khader defeated his CPI (M) rival PP Bhasheer by more than 23,000 votes to retain Vengara assembly constituency in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district, according to results that came on Sunday.

If political watchers in Kerala were looking for an upset in Vengara, it hasn't happened.

Six candidates, including K N A Khader of the IUML, P P Basheer of CPI-M, K Janachandran (BJP) and KC Naseer of the SDPI, were in the fray.

IUML - the second biggest constituent of the Congress-led UDF, had fielded two-time former legislator Khader, who expressed confidence that he will have a cakewalk.

The Vengara byelections in Kerala has been a much heated battle between the UDF and LDF, after they announced the names of their respective candidates. For those who are not familiar with the developments, the Vengara Assembly bypoll is taking place, following PK Kunhalikutty's resignation as sitting MLA and then his subsequent election to the Lok Sabha from Malappuram this yea, after the demise of prominent leader E. Ahamed. "This victory in Vengara is a sign that nobody can ever defeat the Muslim League and Congress", Kunjalikutty, IUML national general secretary told reporters.

A total of 502 voters pressed the NOTA button. What was left to be seen in this election was not who will win, but by how much.

IUML, in 2016 elections, had secured 38,057 votes to win the election with Kunhalikutty as its candidate. "UDF may be winning technically but they are failing politically".

The election result is disappointing for the BJP too.

The LDF's resistance seems to have paid off as the front has been able to increase its vote share and curtail the IUML. Its candidate came third, bagging 8,648 votes.

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