MALAPPURAM : The by-election for Vengara Assembly constituency witnessed a record 71.99 per cent voter turnout on Wednesday, as per the figures released by the Election Commission. The polling percentage in Vengara stood at 67.76 in the Malappuram Lok Sabha by-election, held in April 2017, while the constituency witnessed a higher level of voter enthusiasm this time, with voters queuing up in front of polling stations from morning. Political parties and the district administration had conducted voter awareness campaigns across the constituency to ensure maximum voter participation.
In the Assembly elections held in 2016, the constituency recorded a polling percentage of 70.77 while in 2011, it was 68.97 per cent. The lowest polling percentage of 65.25 was recorded in the Lok Sabha election in 2014. The polling percentage had crossed the 70 per cent mark in all other Assembly segments except Mankada in 2014 (69.67).
IUML state general secretary KPA Majeed said the high turnout was a good indication for the UDF. “Political parties, especially UDF partners, have worked hard to bring maximum voters to the polling booths. This has yielded positive results,” he said.
KPA Majeed claimed party candidate K N A Khader may retain or break the record lead achieved by P K Kunhalikutty in the 2016 Assembly election.“There are several factors in favour of our front. We’re confident Khader will break the record set by Kunhalikutty,” he said. Kunhalikutty was elected with a margin of 38,057 votes from the constituency in 2016.Meanwhile, LDF candidate P P Basheer said the high voter turnout will not benefit any particular candidate. “The increase in polling percentage does not indicate upper hand for any particular front. It can be beneficial for both fronts. But, we are sure the LDF has got better acceptance among the voters in the constituency,” Basheer said while addressing the mediapersons after casting his vote at Mamburam AMLP School.
Exuding confidence, he said the IUML leadership has lost confidence. “Welfare schemes implemented by the state government, especially those for expatriates, will have a direct impact in the byelection.
Huge turnout in LDF rallies indicates advantage for the LDF,” he said. The polling in Vengara Assembly constituency passed off peacefully with no untoward incident reported anywhere in the constituency.
“The polling was peaceful. All political parties cooperated to maintain law and order and officers kept tight vigil,” said Malappuram DySP Jaleel Thottathil.
In addition to cops on general duty, a total of 1,000 police personnel from reserve forces were deployed across the constituency to maintain law and order. Besides, 160 personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were deployed at sensitive booths. The constituency had a total of 17 sensitive booths.The voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) - enabled electronic voting machines (EVMs), which were used for the first time in the state, evoked good response among the voters in Vengara. The EVMs with VVPAT allowed the voters to ensure their votes went to the candidates of their choice. Besides, the name of the candidate was displayed on the screen for seven seconds.
The constituency had a total of 236 VVPAT machines along with 400 control units and polling units.
With reference to the article titled ‘Doc’s lack of communication will cease to be a talking point’ published on September 24, in the TNIE, it has been clarified by the Kottakkal PACESprep course managers it is run as per stipulations of the College, which includes non profit motive and candidate satisfaction but it is not yet endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians.