Congress wins Aruvikara assembly constituency by-poll in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress candidate K.A. Sabarinathan on Tuesday won the Aruvikara assembly constituency by-election in Kerala, beating his nearest rival by around 10,000 votes.

Sabarinathan, 31, was leading right from the start in the counting of votes in the morning. According to the official website of the chief electoral officer, Sabarinathan secured 56,448 votes and the official declaration is expected shortly.

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

The Communist Party of India-Marxist nominated 67-year-old former speaker and minister M. Vijayakumar, who secured 46,320 votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party put up its regular warhorse O. Rajagopal, 85, who garnered 34,145 votes.

The election was necessitated after assembly speaker G. Karthikeyan died in March. He had represented the constituency for 24 long years. Sabarinathan is his son.

There were 16 candidates in the fray and 184,210 voters - up from 164,884 in 2011 when Karthikeyan won by over 10,000 votes - and the bypoll which saw a 70 percent turnout.

While Sabarinathan and Rajagopal kept a tab on the counting process from their homes, Vijayakumar was spotted at the counting centre in the capital city.

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