Jose K Mani, Dr Sooranad Rajasekharan
Thiruvananthapuram: The bypoll to one Rajya Sabha seat in Kerala is underway after the seat fell vacant following the resignation of Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani.
Mani had resigned after his party quit the alliance with the United Democratic Front (UDF) and joined the Left Democratic Front (LDF). Mani is contesting as an LDF candidate and UDF is fielding Dr Sooranad Rajasekharan as its candidate.
LDF candidate Jose K Mani is likely to win as the Left has 99 legislators in the state legislative Assembly. Opposition UDF has 99 MLAs.
Minister for food and civil supplies G R Anil has cast the first vote in the by-election.
The counting of votes will start at 5 pm today.
Earlier this month, Kerala Congress (M) had announced its decision to field Jose K Mani as the Left Democratic Front candidate for the Rajya Sabha election.
The decision to give the vacant Rajya Sabha to Kerala Congress (M) was taken during the LDF state committee meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
In January, Jose K Mani resigned as the Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament. He submitted his resignation to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's office.
Ahead of the Kerala Assembly election in April 2021, Kerala Congress (M) had switched to LDF from Congress-led United Democratic Front.