Kottayam (Kerala) Sep 27 (IANS) Counting began early on Friday for Kerala’s Pala Assembly bypoll and early trends showed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Mani C.Kappen, who is also backed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF), ahead of the United Democratic Front’s (UDF) Jose Tom Pullikunnel.
The Assembly bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator and Kerala Congress (Mani) chief K.M.Mani in April. Mani had represented Pala since 1965 and the constituency will see a new MLA after a gap of 54 years.
Kerala Congress (Mani) is the third biggest ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front and had named Pullikunnel as its candidate.
However, differences within the party led Pullikunnel to opt out and contest as an ‘Independent’ supported by the UDF.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Kottayam BJP head N. Hari as its candidate.
Of the total 1,79,107 electorate, 1,27,939 cast their vote on Monday to decide the fate of 13 candidates. The votes would be counted in 14 rounds.