Despite lashing rain, people turned out in large numbers to cast their votes Saturday morning at all the 143 polling booths in the Neyattinkara assembly by-election.
Polling began at 7 a.m. and after two hours, 17.60 percent voters had cast their votes, said the chief electoral officer. Polling closes at 5 p.m.
The total number of voters in Neyattinkara constituency is 164,856 -- 85,441 women and 79,415 men.
In this triangular fight, former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate O. Rajagopal poses a challenge to F. Lawrence of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and R. Selvaraj of the Congress party.
Selvaraj became a Congress candidate after quitting the CPI-M in March. He had won the April 2011 assembly election with 6,702 votes.
That time, the total voters in the constituency were 157,004, of which 71.15 percent had cast their votes.