Seven candidates to contest in Puthuppally bypoll in Kerala

Apart from candidates of UDF, LDF and BJP remaining four candidates include one person from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and three independent contestants.
Seven candidates to contest in Puthuppally bypoll in Kerala

Kottayam | A total of seven contestants are in the fray for the September 5 bypoll in the Puthuppally assembly constituency in Kerala.

While late former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's son Chandy Oommen is the Congress-led UDF's candidate and DYFI leader Jaick C Thomas will represent the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, the BJP will be fielding its Kottayam District President G Lijinlal.

The remaining four candidates include one person from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and three independent contestants, according to a statement issued by the district administration.

The candidates were finalised after the deadline for withdrawing the nomination papers ended today and none of the candidates backed out, the statement said.

It also said that the four recognised parties were given their symbols and the independent candidates were allotted symbols by the Election Officer.

This is the third consecutive electoral fight for Thomas from Puthuppally constituency. He had taken on Oommen Chandy in his bastion in the 2016 and 2021 Assembly polls.

Chandy had won from the constituency 12 times in a row since 1970. His

death in July left the seat vacant, due to which the bypoll is being held, and for which the Congress is fielding the popular leader's son.

In view of the by-election, September 5 has been declared a holiday for all government, semi-government, educational and commercial institutions in the constituency.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the mock polls to test the voting machines and the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) has been conducted, the district administration said.

The mock poll was conducted in the presence of representatives of the contesting political parties at the APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium here, it said, adding that 20 voting machines and VVPATs were kept ready for the exercise.

The district administration has also released a list of election observers and their phone numbers, for the general public to make complaints, if any, regarding the bypoll.

Votes polled in the September 5 bypoll will be counted on September 8.

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