Tuesday, April 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ravi, Pillai elected to RS

Thiruvananthapuram, April 14
In a major setback to Congress leader K. Karunakaran, his faction's nominee Kodoth Govindan Nair was humbled by AICC-approved candidates Vayalar Ravi and Thennala Balakrishna Pillai in the Rajya Sabha (RS) elections held today.

LDF candidate K. Chandran Pillai (CPM) also got elected to fill the three Rajya Sabha vacancies from Kerala.

The fight for Rajya Sabha berths which turned out to be a head-on confrontation with Mr Karunakaran and the high command virtually resulted in a grand victory for Chief Minister A.K. Antony who had firmly stood by the central leadership all through the crisis.

AICC general secretary Vayalar Ravi secured 38 first votes and Thennala Balakrishna Pillai, a former KPCC president, polled 36 votes, while Kodoth Govindan Nair, expelled from the party, had to be content with 26 votes.

LDF candidate Chandran Pillai got 39 first votes. One vote was found invalid.

The victory of official Congress candidates brought jubilation to the entire non-Karunakaran spectrum of the Congress, while a pall of gloom descended on the rival camp whose calculations to use RS poll as a springboard to mount further attack on the Antony government went awry. PTI

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