Kerala registered 72.57 per cent turnout at the close of polling. According to Election Commission officials, the figure could cross the 75.12 per cent mark that was recorded in 2011 assembly elections. About 18 million out of the 26 million voters had cast their vote in a much-contested elections where the BJP is trying to make inroads.
There were 21,498 regular polling booths and 148 auxiliary booths, out of which, 1,233 were considered critical and 119 were set up in Maoist-influenced areas.
While the total polling percentage in Kerala stood at 72.57, Wayanad and Kannur recorded more than 75% voting. In fact, 10 districts in Kerala recorded more than 70 per cent voting. Kannur recorded highest voting and Thiruvananthapuram witnessed the lowest polling in the state.
Poll Violence and Other Issues
Kerala elections was not without untoward incidents with two CPI (M) workers arrested for casting bogus votes in Kannur. In another unwanted incident, two Janata Dal (Secular) workers sustained injuries in an attack allegedly made by the CPI(M) workers in Chittur Assembly constituency. According to police, however, the incident took place after an altercation over illegal sand mining.
Candidates in Fray
The voters sealed the fate of 1203 candidates, including 109 women, who contested for 140 seats in Kerala Assembly. After staying out of power for five years, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) hopes to unseat the Congress-led UDF. Kerala could well see 93-year-old V.S. Achuthanandan becoming the chief minister if Left doesn’t run out of luck this time.
It is expected to be a closely fought contest with the Congress-led UDF leaving no stone unturned to retain power in the state. Cricketer-turned-politician, S. Sreesanth, expressed confidence that the BJP will grab 71 out of the 140 seats to throw out the corrupt government. It must be remembered that this optimism has its origin in the fact that the BJP managed to put up a better show in recent civic elections in Kerala.
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