THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The southernmost constituency, Thiruvananthapuram, registered a fresh record this time by crossing 70 per cent polling in the past 30 years. As per the latest statistics, the total polling percentage in Thiruvananthapuram is 73.37. The last time the polling percentage crossed 70 mark was in 1989, when UDF candidate A Charles contested against LDF candidate O N V Kurup. In that election, the polling percentage was 73.78 and Charles won by a margin of 50,913 votes. Charles was seeking a mandate for the second time.
Since then, the polling per cent never crossed 70 marks and thus the constituency earned a dubious distinction of having the lowest voter turnout in the state. In 1991, the polling per cent was 68.89 while the turnout in 1996 was 64.56. In 1998, former Chief Minister K Karunakaran won the elections from the constituency. Polling was 65.74 then.
The polling per cent came down in 1999 when UDF candidate V S Sivakumar contested against CPI’s Kaniyapuram Ramachandran. The polling percentage was 63.18. In 2004, 2005 and 2009 elections, the polling percentages were 68.7, 68.13 and 65.74 respectively. In the last elections in 2014, the polling percentage was 68.63.
The Sabarimala issue, anti-incumbency factor or any liking towards a political party and its policies may play a huge factor. Similarly, the rise in polling percentage this time is owing to large voter turnout in rural areas, including Parassala and Neyyattinkara constituencies. The Kovalam Assembly constituency, which covers the coastline also used to register a higher polling percentage while Thiruvananthapuram remained the lowest polling Assembly constituency.
Two people including a polling officer were admitted to Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College after complaining of dizziness. Aravindakshan, 51, a polling officer of Aruviyodu St Theresa’s School complained of uneasiness and was shifted to the medical college hospital by Police personnel. In the second incident, a 96-year-old voter identified as Kunjukrishnan Nadar was admitted to the hospital after he collapsed while standing in a queue in Neyyattinkara.
Thiruvananthapuram: Compared with the 2014 general elections, the voting percentage in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency increased by 4.68 percentage. This year, the polling per cent was 73.37, while in 2014, the overall voter per cent was 68.69 per cent.
At Beemapally, a minor scuffle broke out between the police and a group of voters who demanded to cast their votes after 6 pm. The situation was later brought under control. In another incident, a case was registered for bogus voting at Poonthura. Two cases were registered at Valiyathura against the CPM and Congress workers for instigating clashes. A case was registered at Pattom against a voter for misleading polling officials.