Chandy told reporters that the party leadership has expressed its happiness over the victory in the recently-concluded by-poll. "The election result was in favour of UDF. It's a very comfortable majority. All the claims of the Opposition proved futile. They lost very heavily. The party leadership is also very happy about it (the win)," he said after meeting Gandhi at his residence here.

In a shot in the arm for the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala ahead of Assembly polls next year, Congress candidate KS Sabarinadhan clinched the Aruvikkara by-poll by a margin of 10,128 votes over his nearest rival, M Vijayakumar of the CPI-M-led LDF.

Asked whether Gandhi and he had discussed the strategy for the Kerala Assembly elections next year, Chandy replied in the negative. "Last time, we discussed all these things. We will come again. When we discuss in detail, other leaders must be there," he added.

Sabarinadhan is the son of former speaker G Karthikeyan, whose death in February necessitated the by-poll. The outcome is a big relief for the four-year-old UDF government in Kerala as the Opposition had used every opportunity to corner it on the solar and bar bribery scams.

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