M V Shreyams Kumar, state president of the ruling LDF ally Loktantrik Janata Party, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala in the by-poll held here on Monday to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his father and media baron M P Veerendra Kumar.
Kumar polled 88 votes while the Congress-UDF candidate, Lal Varghese Kalpakavadi got 41 votes, Kerala Legislative Assembly Secretary S V Unnikrishnan, who was the Returning Officer, said.
The RS by-poll necessitated following the death of 83- year-old veteran socialist M P Veerendra Kumar on May 28, was held in the state assembly premises here. The lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal kept away, while the vote of P C George was declared invalid.
Of the total of 136 votes, 130 were polled and six were not present. From the Left Democratic Front, nonagenarian and former Chief Minister V S Achutanandan and George M Thomas did not cast their votes, while from the UDF camp, Kerala Congress Jose K Mani faction members– Roshi Augustine and N Jeyaraj were not present.
Kerala Congress Joseph faction leader C F Thomas also did not vote. Karat Razak of the LDF and KM Shaji of the UDF could not vote as their appeals against the Kerala High Court order, declaring their elections void, are pending before the Supreme Court.
Higher Education minister KT Jaleel, who is in quarantine, cast his franchise but did not participate in the assembly proceedings, which debated the opposition UDF’s no-confidence motion against the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
In the 140-member Assembly, the LDF has 93 members, while the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has 45. Besides, one member is nominated from the Anglo Indian community, but he does not have voting rights. BJP has one member, while P C George is an Independent. Two seats are vacant following the death of two members.