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76.31% turnout recorded in Kerala by-polls

The polling percentage at Aruvikkara in the 2011 assembly poll, in which the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won the election by a margin of over 10, 000 votes, was 70.29.



By T.k. Devasia

Published: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:59 PM

Trivandrum: Polling for the Neyyattinkara assembly by-poll preceded by a high-voltage campaign, seldom witnessed in Kerala, concluded on Saturday with a record polling percentage of 76.31.

The polling percentage is likely to go up as Election Commission has allowed extra time for voters who turned up late. Reports from Aruvikkara said there were large queues of voters before many polling booths even after 5pm.

The polling percentage at Aruvikkara in the 2011 assembly poll, in which the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won the election by a margin of over 10, 000 votes, was 70.29. The polling in the segment in the last Lok Sabha election was 69.25 per cent. The polling for the by-poll, necessitated by the demise of former Speaker G Karthikeyan, began on a brisk note with 50 per cent by 1pm. Voters started queuing up before polling booths from the morning despite intermittent downpours.

There are a total of 16 candidates in the fray in the constituency with a total electorate of 177,594. The Congress has fielded Karthikeyan’s 31-year-old son K.A. Sabarinathan, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) 67-year-old former speaker M. Vijayakumar. The Bharatiya Janata Party has pitted its regular warhorse, 85-year-old O. Rajagopal, in the fray. All the three candidates have claimed that the high polling would help them. Usually high voting percentage is perceived to be beneficial to the UDF. However, it cannot be said to be same this time since it is not clear whom the strong presence of BJP and some other strong candidates will hurt most.

The CPM attributes the huge turnout to the massive campaign they unleashed against the corruption rocking the government. Party leaders claimed that the voters in large number had turned up at polling booths to give their verdict against corruption.

news@khaleejtimes.com


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