In Kerala, the CPM-led Left Democratic Front and the Congress-led United Democratic Front have made some stellar wins in the by-elections. The UDF has won three of the five constituencies, and the LDF two.
In Vattiyoorkavu assembly, in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, a young 38-year-old VK Prashanth has led the LDF in a huge victory. The BJP and the Congress, all through their campaign, had raised preservation of faith and tradition vis-a-vis Sabarimala as a major campaign issue. But VK Prashanth has won the seat which was held by the Congress consecutively since the formation of the constituency. He became the youngest Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation in 2015.
"The Opposition in the state raised Sabarimala in an attempt to nullify the development and people-centered initiatives of the Left government, which has been braving the brunt of repeated natural disasters," VK Prashanth told the media.
He won with a margin of more than 14,000 votes.
In another significant win in Kerala, Shanimol Osman of the Congress won from Aroor - a Left bastion, defeating the CPM candidate. The margin for Shanimol Osman's victory may be just around 2,000 votes, but is politically crucial.
"It's a mixed bag for Congress in Kerala. We've been able to win in a seat where we were written off. However, the victory of a young CPM candidate in Vattiyoorkavvu, which falls in my parliamentary constituency, is a disappointment and unexpected. We will have to see if there are larger indications of change - younger profile for voters. But it's also a stronghold for BJP, which came second here in last three elections but this time has come a distant third here. They need to know that Sabarimala will not always work", Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, told the media.