IUML's PK Kunhalikutty leading by over 1,68000 votes

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said during the campaign that the bypoll mandate would be a mandate on the government's performance.The bypoll, necessitated by the death of veteran Muslim League parliamentarian E. Ahamed, is the first electoral test the government faced after assuming office a year ago. The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has won all but one election held in the parliamentary consistency.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator PK Kunhalikutty won the Malappuram by-poll in Kerala on Monday by 171,038 lakh votes.

Six independent candidates are also in the fray.

Counting of votes polled for the April 12 Malappuram Lok Sabha bypoll is progressing.

In what could come as a disappointment for the Bharatiya Janata Party which is hoping to make inroads into the southern state, its candidate N Sreeprakash is at a distant third with 65,675 votes in his name. Kunhalikutty said: "This time we have dramatically increased our lead there". Hence, he will be looking for a victory margin much better that the previous election's 1,94,739 votes to prove that the LDF has lost its support among the people after it came to power.

After two rounds of counting, Kunhalikutty was leading in all the seven assembly constituencies.

Malappuram district has been a stronghold of the IUML and Mr Ahamed won the 2014 polls with a record margin of 1.94 lakh votes.

This is his maiden foray to Parliament. Hence, the Congress leadership is more concerned than the IUML about today's verdict in Malappuram.

  • Leroy Wright