Thiruvananthapuram | More than 40 per cent polling was recorded in Kerala in the first eight hours with Wayanad district registering the highest and the state capital recording the lowest.
This is less than the state-wide average poling of more than 40 percent recorded in the 2011 Assembly election. The overcast skies and heavy showers since last night in various places could impact the turnout.
While Wayanad recorded 40.2 per cent turnout till 12 noon, it was 32.5 per cent in Idukki and 30.2 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram.
District-wise polling percentage till 2:05 pm is as follows: Kottayam 45.62, Idukki 40.86, Ernakulam 43.68, Thrissur 45, Palakkad 46.86, Malappuram 42.89, Kozhikode 45.43, Kollam 42.2, Wayanad 43.97, Kannoor 48.54, Kasargod 44.06, Pathanamthitta 43.4, Thiruvananthapuram 38.37, Alappuzha 47.26.
Polling in 21,498 booths to elect representatives to the 140-member Kerala assembly began at 7 AM Monday.
Mild- to-moderate rain and dark clouds dampened voting in the early hours.
The northern districts of the state– Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad and Kozhikode- saw brisk polling. People were seen queuing up in various booths in the state much before the polling began at 7 AM.
No untoward incident has been reported so far.
A 70-year-old voter collapsed and died before casting his vote in a booth at Perambra in Kozhikode.
There were some incidents of malfunctioning of voting machines in some booths, but they were rectified immediately and polling was not affected.
The two-month long campaign saw ruling Congress-led UDF and CPI-M headed LDF engaging in a fierce battle, with BJP-NDA alliance also eyeing to open its account for the first time. The coming of the BJP-led alliance in the polls is seen by political observers as an attempt to break the bipolar politics of the state, which has always chosen the rival fronts alternatively over the last several years. The saffron party has tied up with Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a newly floated party of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an organisation of the backward Ezhava community. Of the 2.60 crore electorate, 1.35 crore are women voters and two belong to the third gender. This is the first time the third gender figures in the electoral rolls in the state. Several overseas voters, especially from north Kerala, have been coming to the state since the past few days to cast their franchise. The strength of the overseas electorate is 23,289. Kerala voters from the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have also reached the state to exercise their franchise.