The Congress-led United Democratic Front government,walking the tightrope with a thin majority of three,on Wednesday got a relief as it won the Piravom seat.
Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader Anoop Jacob retained the seat that had fallen vacant with the death of his father T M Jacob. Anoop,who had been paraded as a minister-in-waiting during the campaign,defeated CPMs M J Jacob by 12,070 votes.
The result indicates that the warring Jacobite and Orthodox Churches supported Anoop. If the Jacobites wanted to ensure that Anoop became a minister,the Orthodox had no other option but to support the candidate from rival community for the sake of CM Oommen Chandy.
Besides,the Congress groups have buried their factionalism this time at Piravom,where the Left had two victories in the previous elections mainly exploiting the cracks in the Congress.
Reacting to the loss,CPM state chief Pinarayi Vijayan claimed the UDF won with the support of religious groups and money power.