Polling ends peacefully in Malappuram elections; no untoward incident reported

By Twocircles.net Staff Reporter

The by-election at Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday witnessed a voter turnout of more than 70%. Despite the scorching sun, people turned out in droves to exercise their franchise.

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By 11 am, nearly 32% of voters casted their votes in 1,175 polling booths. The turnout grew steadily and the number stood at 61.04% as of 4 pm.

The voting began at 7 am under a tight security put in place in light of the volatile political atmosphere. A total of 31 booths were marked politically sensitive by the Election Commission while 42 others were  critical. However, the polling was peaceful and no untoward incidents were reported.

Malappuram, Manjeri, Valikkunna, Vengara, Perinthalmanna, Kondotty and Mankada assembly segments recorded voter turnout of 66%, 63%, 61%, 60.6%, 58.9%, 58.5% and 58.6% respectively. Last term, Malappuram constituency registered 71.27% voter turnout.

The booths also witnessed busy crowd towards the closing stages of the polling as most men out for work rushed back to the polling station to register their votes. Also, many have waited until evening given the high temperatures during the afternoon.

Polling was interrupted in the morning after the electronic voting machines acted up at 11 booths set up at the Vengara, Manjeri, and Malappuram assembly segments. However, they were replaced soon and voting began without further ado.

With six independents and three party candidates, a total of nine persons are in the fray for the election following the death of Muslim League leader E Ahamed. The party has won all but one parliament elections held in this region.

UDF candidate P K Kunhalikkutty, who cast his vote at 7 am in the booth set up in AMLP School, Panakkad, said that his party was confident of gaining an easy win with a large majority.

Asked whether he could move past the majority late E Ahmed has gained last term, the UDF leader said he was not that ambitious enough to make such statement. If ground realities are taken into account, I believe that I can win the election with a clear majority,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha member T K Hamsa and LDF leader told media persons that LDF would repeat its victory in 2004.