Congress mayoral candidate N Venugopal, has lost to the BJP candidate by one vote, in the Kochi Corporation North Island ward in the state's local body elections. Venugopal was contesting from Island North this time, rather than the neighbouring Island South, from where he posted victories in 2005 and 2010. The Congress leader who has also represented the combined division of Island North and Island South in 2000, when the two areas were yet to be constituted as separate divisions, was confident of a win.
"It was a sure seat. I can't say what happened. There was no problem in the party. There was a problem with the voting machine. That may be the reason for BJP's victory," Venugopal was quoted as saying by news ageny ANI.
"I have not decided to go to court with the voting machine issue so far. Will check what happened exactly," he added.
The counting of votes for local body polls in Kerala is underway at 244 counting centres across the state. With all COVID-19 protocols in place, the counting of votes of Kerala local body elections started at 8 am on Wednesday. The final results are expected later in the day.
READ MORE | Kerala local body results Live Updates
The district collectors of several districts of Kerala have imposed section 144 of CrPC on the basis of reports from concerned district police chiefs. The clashes between party workers were reported in many places of these districts during the election.
The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress-led, United Democratic Front (UDF) and BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were in the fray for local body polls in Kerala.
The local body polls were held in three phases in Kerala. 78.64 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the third and the final phase of the local body polls. The second phase recorded 76.38 per cent voter turnout and in the first phase, it was 72.67 per cent.
(With ANI inputs)