South India

Over 33 pc votes polled in Kerala after five hours

Kerala, on Friday, where polling to all the 20 Lok Sabha seats is being held, after five and a half hours of voting, recorded 33.45 per cent voter turnout, according to the Election Commission.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala, on Friday, where polling to all the 20 Lok Sabha seats is being held, after five and a half hours of voting, recorded 33.45 per cent voter turnout, according to the Election Commission.

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For 2019 Lok Sabha polls, there was a 77.67 per cent turnout; and given the present rate of polling on Friday, expectations are that it could cross 80 per cent.

The highlight on Friday has been that voters across the state queued up even before polling began at 7 a.m.

Among those who cast their vote were all the leading lights starting from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former Defense Minister A. K. Antony, Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan, besides Lok Sabha candidates from all the three political fronts including Shashi Tharoor, Suresh Gopi, P. K. Kunhalikutty, Shafi Parambil, E. P. Jayarajan and numerous others.

In all, there are 25,177 polling booths and 181 auxiliary booths. Of these, 2,776 are model polling booths and 555 polling booths are manned by all-women teams.

Youths are managing 100 booths while 10 are being managed by physically-challenged poll officials.

In the fray are 194 candidates belonging to the three political fronts which include the ruling CPI(M)-led Left, the Congress-led UDF and the BJP-led NDA besides a string of Independent candidates and a few other parties.

There are 2,77,49,159 voters in the state, including 1,43,33,499 women, 1,34,15,293 men and 367 transgenders.

Though the BJP-led NDA is fighting it out at all the 20 seats, the real triangular poll battle is at Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur.

At the 2019 polls, the Congress-led UDF won 19 seats while the Left won one.

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