Malappuram (Kerala): Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator P.K. Kunhalikutty won the Malappuram by-poll in Kerala on Monday by 171,038 lakh votes.
The IUML strongman remained far ahead of his nearest rival — Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate and youth leader M.B. Faisal throughout the counting process.
The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate N. Sreeprakash came a distant third.
Earlier Kunhalikutty came out of his home as jubilant supporters shouted slogans and lifted him up.
Speaking to the media Kunhalikutty said the party has led in village councils where the Left was ruling.
“This is because the electorate has placed faith in me as I spoke about the need for a secular outlook. Also the unity of the Congress-led-UDF has helped us in this,” Kunhalikutty added.
The total turnout at Malappuram by-election on April 12, was 71.33 per cent.
With Kunhalikutty far ahead in the race right from the time counting began, he always had more than 50 per cent of the counted votes.
The re-poll was necessitated after the death of sitting MP and IUML leader Ahamed.
Malappuram district is the citadel of the IUML and Ahamed won the 2014 polls with a record margin of 1.94 lakh votes.
But during the 2016 assembly elections, the margin of the IUML legislators, who won in all the seven assembly constituencies, came down to 1.18 lakh votes.
The outcome of the poll could well be the first indicator on how well the 10-month-old Pinarayi Vijayan government has functioned.