Pala by-election: Brisk polling in the initial hours as 21.63 percentage recorded till 10.30 am

LDF candidate Mani C Kappen and UDF candidate Jose Tom cast their votes in the early hours of the polling at Govt Polytechnic School, Kanattupara and Govt LP School, Poovathode respectively.

Published: 23rd September 2019 10:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2019 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Huge turnout of voters witnessed at the St Thomas TTC college, Pala in the early hours of the polling on Monday. | (Vishnu Prathap | EPS)

Huge turnout of voters witnessed at the St Thomas TTC college, Pala in the early hours of the polling on Monday. | (Vishnu Prathap | EPS)

By Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: The polling to the Pala by-election has commenced at 7 am on Monday. 

Polling has been progressing in all the 176 polling booths in the constituency without much trouble. As per statistics released by the Election Commission, the initial hours witnessed brisk polling with the polling percentage recorded at 21.63 till 10.30 am with 38756 people casting votes so far.

LDF candidate Mani C Kappen and UDF candidate Jose Tom cast their votes in the early hours of the polling at Govt Polytechnic School, Kanattupara and Govt LP School, Poovathode respectively.

Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani MP and family members availed their voting right at booth number 128 set up at St Thomas High School, Pala by 8.45 am. Speaking to reporters after casting their votes, candidates of three political fronts exuded the confidence of winning the battle.

While NDA candidate N Hari responded that good turnout of voters showed a favourable sign to him, Kappen and Tom said polling percentage will touch 75-78 per cent taking in to account the initial signs.

According to Jose K Mani, victory is 100 per cent sure for the UDF candidate.

“UDF has completed the election campaign united and hence UDF will with a significant majority,” he said.

Jose also raised a complaint that poor lighting in the booths created troubles to the voters in the majority of booths and demanded the election authorities to rectify the issues.

VIP voters including Pala bishop Joseph Kallarangattu, actor Miya, filmmaker Bhadran and others also cast their votes in the morning itself.

Polling delayed in as many as six booths following EVMs developed technical troubles in the initial hours.

As per the direction of the sectoral officers, voting machines were replaced in these booths and the polling resumed.

The polling percentage recorded 6.66 by 8 am, which continued steady growth in the following minutes. While Pala municipality recorded a surge in voting, the response of voters was lukewarm in the rural areas, especially in High Range areas of the constituency.

Earlier, the district election authorities had completed all the arrangements for the polling by deploying required polling officers and other employees and distributed polling materials by 5 pm on Sunday.

A total of 13 candidates are in the fray, with UDF candidate Jose Tom, LDF candidate Mani C Kappen and NDA candidate N Hari are leading one of the tough election battles, the constituency has ever witnessed.

The by-election has been declared following the demise of Kerala Congress (M) stalwart K M Mani on April 9, 2019.

The campaign, which began with issues like development and illegal quarrying, turned into a high octane fight between political fronts, raising numerous subjects including Sabarimala issue, and graft allegations against each other.

While the constituency is heading to polling booths on Monday, the polling results are seemingly unpredictable as the all the political fronts have mobilised the entire voters in the constituency with an intense grass-root level campaign.

The entire leadership of UDF, almost all the ministers and seniors leaders of LDF and national leaders of NDA were present in the three weeks long open campaign.

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  • Satheesan PV

    Pakistan lives still in Fool's Paradise
    29 days ago reply
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