April 27, 2018
Kottayam: Campaigning has heated up after the Election Commission announced that the Chengannur bypoll will be held on May 28.
With this the code of conduct has come into force in Alappuzha district.
May 10 is the last day for filing of nominations. Scrutiny will be held the next day and the last day for withdrawal of nominations is May 14.
Counting of votes will be held on May 31.
Verifiable Paper Record (VPR) that provides feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system will be used in all polling booths.
Saji Cherian, 40, of CPM is the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate while D Vijayakumar, 66, of Congress is the United Democratic Front (UDF) nominee.
Vijayakumar is the national vice-president of Ayyappa Seva Sangh. He was a close associate of the late Chief Minister K. Karunakaran.
BJP leader P L Sreedharan Pillai, 64, will contest as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of K K Ramachandran Nair of CPM.
The election is seen as a referendum of the LDF Government. The UDF is mobilising all its forces to win the seat but is worried over its inability to lure its past ally Kerala Congress (M) (KCM) headed by former tainted minister K M Mani who claims to represent Christians in the State.
On the other hand, Mani is in good terms with CPM and wants to tie up with LDF but is not able to convince CPI which is dead against accommodating him.
CPI state chief Kanam Rajendran had even threatened to quit the LDF if KCM was inducted into it. CPI firmly believes that Mani had indulged in massive corruption.