The ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Friday won 16 of the 30 seats in the bye-elections conducted for local bodies across the state, PTI reported. The Congress-led United Democratic Front bagged 12 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party failed to win any seat.
The saffron party had been at the forefront of the protests after the Supreme Court’s verdict last year that allowed women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on the other hand, had declared that the LDF government was constitutionally bound to implement the top court’s orders. The temple was the scene of massive protests for several months, with people protesting against allowing entry to women on menstruating age.
Two seats were won by Independent candidates and the Revolutionary Marxist Party retained the Onchiyam panchayat seat, The Hindu reported.
The UDF lost five of its seats in the bye-elections, four of which were won by the LDF and one by a Congress rebel. However, the UDF emerged victorious in five seats held by the ruling party.
Around 80.12% of the voters had exercised their franchise in by-polls in 30 local body wards, which were held in 12 districts on February 14.
In the bye-elections held in November last year, the LDF had won 21 of the 39 seats. The UDF had secured 12 seats and the BJP two.