People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 05, 2003

 Ernakulam Bypoll: Significant Victory For LDF


SEBASTIAN Paul, the LDF-supported candidate was declared elected from the Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat on September 29 in the bye-election for this seat which was held on September 23.

The victory of Sebastian Paul with a notable majority of 22,132 votes will have a crucial bearing on Kerala politics. The defeat of M O John, candidate of the ‘A’ group of the Congress(I), which is led by the state chief minister A K Antony, is being widely perceived as the defeat of the chief minister himself. Consequently there are demands for his resignation from office.


The leaders of the CPI(M) commented that the election results are not only evidence of a failure on the part of the chief minister but also reflection of the people’s confidence in the CPI(M) and the LDF. The LDF has actually gained 10 per cent of votes more than it had obtained in the 1999 election while the loss of the UDF was about 8 per cent.

After the marginalisation of the senior Congress leader K Karunakaran within the party, a section of the Congress(I) loyal to him has taken revenge on the chief minister in this election. The Muslim League ministers have said that the Ernakulam result is now a serious matter as it has shown the wide gap between the leaders and the mass of Muslims, in the background of Marad happenings. K Karunakaran told the media that he wanted the chief minister to resign as he and his government are responsible for the failure of the Congress(I) candidate.

The BJP leaders are trying their best to hide their fiasco in this bye-election. A close examination of the voting figures clearly shows the fact of the BJP shifting its votes to the UDF candidate. BJP has lost 30 per cent of votes polled in 1999 and the leaders are in the dock for this loss, which is leading to further tension between the leaders and followers in the BJP.

The state units of the CPI and the RSP have separately called for the resignation of the chief minister.

The political parties in the UDF have expressed disappointment and are openly blaming the failures of the UDF government, especially in providing protection to the victims of Marad, police excesses and ineffectiveness, issue of admission and fees in private colleges etc and the policy of appeasement with the Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists as possible reasons for the debacle.



  Ernakulam By-election Result






Votes Polled



Sebastian Paul – LDF supported



M.O. John - Congress (I) supported



V. Viswanatha Menon – BJP Supported



Siraj – PDP         



Three independents