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7.06 % polling percentage registered at 8 a.m. in Kerala

Malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPAT machines was reported from a number of booths, but overall voting has been progressing at a brisk pace across the State.

Kerala districts are witnessing long queues of voters outside booths after polling for the Assembly elections opened at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The State recorded a polling percentage of 7.06% by 8.15 a.m.

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The by-election to the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat is also being held alongside the Assembly poll.

Malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail machines was reported from a number of booths, but overall, voting has been progressing at a brisk pace across the State.

Meanwhile, several Ministers and candidates of all three political fronts cast their votes in the first hour. Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who is contesting from Kazhakootam, said a three-cornered fight was on in Kerala, but the desire for a continuation of the Left government was strongly visible in the electorate.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president K. Surendran said Kerala was voting for a third alternative. The BJP-NDA combine would register an impressive outcome in the election, he claimed.

Metroman E. Sreedharan, who is contesting on a BJP ticket from Palakkad, cast his vote in Ponnani and expressed confidence of a victory.

IUML leader P. K. Kunhalikutty, who is contesting from Vengara, said reports from the constituencies indicated a comfortable victory for the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

Electors who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under quarantine will be permitted to vote in the final hour of polling. Kerala had recorded a polling percentage of 77.35% in the 2016 Assembly poll.

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