30 percent turnout till noon in Kerala polls

Many public figures including political leaders, actors, and social workers cast their votes in the morning

Over 30 percent polling has been registered in Kerala till 12 am.   While the polling was brisk in the northern parts of the state, rain in the morning affected the expected turnout in the southern districts.  The voting percent touched 30 in the most of the northern states, while Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki registered less polling till 12 am.

According to the sources, polling was peaceful in all the states despite some skirmish reported in Piravam constituency among two political parties.

Meantime, many public figures including political leaders, actors, and social workers caste their votes in the morning. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, Muslim League state president Sayyid Haidarali, actor Pathmasri Mammotty, actor -turned politician Suresh Gopi, Congress Member of Parliament from  Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor exercised their constitutional right.

Polling began at 7.00 a.m. across the state and will end at 6.00 p.m., to elect 140 new legislators to the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly.

As per election officials, the state has 2,60,19,284 voters comprising 1,25,10,589 males, 1,35,08,693 females and two voters belonging to the third gender.

Overall, there are 21,498 regular polling booths and 148 auxiliary polling booths, of which there are 1,233 categorised as critical and including 119 booths that are in Maoist-influenced areas.

A total of 1,203 contestants, including 109 women, are in the fray.

Despite rains and the cloudy weather across the state, people were seen queuing up in front of most polling booths.

The electoral battle is principally between the traditional rival fronts — the Congress-led UDF and the CPI-M-led LDF, while the BJP-led NDA alliance is hoping a major victory.