Polling began on a brisk note, rain in the afternoon dampened spirit a bit
High voter turnout and minor issues marked the Assembly elections in the district on Tuesday.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 74.59% of the total 17.82 lakh electorate exercised their right to vote when the polling closed at 7 p.m. The voting percentage is likely to go up as the Election Commission has not yet released the final figures.
Among the nine constituencies, Cherthala recorded the highest voter turnout with about 80.52% exercising their franchise. It is followed by Aroor (80.02%), Alappuzha (76.16%), Ambalappuzha (74.60%), Haripad (74.06%), Kayamkulam (73.20%), Kuttanad (72.21%), Mavelikara (71.09%) and Chengannur (68.98%).
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the district registered a voter turnout of 76.37%.
The voting started at 7 a.m. on a brisk note with 11.58% turnout in the first two hours. Issues with voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines in a few booths, including Kizhakkekara in the Haripad constituency, Vettakkal in Cherthala, Eramalloor in Aroor, Eera in Kuttanad and Puthiyavila in Kayamkulam slightly delayed the polling in these places. By noon, 41.99 voters exercised their franchise in the district. However, cloudy skies and rain that lashed parts of the district in the afternoon dampened the spirit of voters.
One collapses, dies
An elderly person collapsed and died at Pathiyankara, near Thrikkunnapuzha, allegedly after seeing a clash between the Left Democratic Front and United Democratic Front workers. The deceased was identified as Sharngadharan (Podikochu), 60, of Thrikkunnapuzha.
A polling officer and a few voters sustained injuries in a stray dog attack at Thalavady. A polling officer who failed to turn up for election duty at a polling booth at Thalavady was arrested. A person who came to cast vote at a booth at Kalarcode wearing helmet was not allowed to vote after he refused to remove it despite repeated demands by polling officials.
Officials said that barring minor issues, the polling was peaceful and largely incident-free
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, Food and Civil Supplies Minister P. Thilothaman, All India Congress Committee general secretary K.C. Venugopal, MP, A.M. Ariff, MP, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan and so on cast their votes in their respective polling booths in the district.
COVID-19 patients/suspected persons were allowed to cast their votes between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
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