Despite heavy rains, an estimated 74.4 percent turnout was on Saturday recorded for the bypoll for Aruvikkara assembly where Kerala's ruling Congress-led UDF and opposition CPI(M)-headed LDF are locked in a stiff contest.
After hectic parleys at all levels in the Congress in Kerala, the party has decided to field KS Sabarinathan for the June 27th by-election for Aruvikara assembly constituency in the capital district. He is the younger son of late assembly speaker G Karthikeyan, whose death in March this year necessitated the bypoll.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday sent a get well soon message to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, but the party had no clue where the Gandhi scion is following his break from the budget session of parliament.
The move by state Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan to quit his post eyeing to return to active politics has revived dormant factional trends in Congress in Kerala with a section in the party averse to the idea of possible cabinet reshuffle to accommodate him.
With the Kerala Assembly witnessing its lowest ever sittings last year, Speaker G Karthikeyan Friday expressed hope that the next session, starting Monday, would have more sittings as all parties agreed to cooperate.
CPI(M)-led LDF opposition on Monday staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly accusing the UDF government of taking lightly the severe hardship caused to people by hike in LPG prices and insistence on Aadhaar-linkage of subsidised cooking gas for household consumers.
Kerala assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan said on Friday that he was deeply saddened that in the year 2013, the house saw only 37 sittings. And even in those few sittings, there were uproarious scenes on many days.