68.75% Voter Turnout In Kerala's Thrikkakara Bypoll

Ernakulam District Collector Jafar Malik said a total of 1,35,320 votes were polled out of the 1,96,805 electorate in the constituency.

68.75% Voter Turnout In Kerala's Thrikkakara Bypoll

The byelection was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA PT Thomas.(Representational)

Kochi:

The Thrikkakara Assembly constituency registered a 68.75 per cent turnout of voters for the by-election held here on Tuesday.

Ernakulam District Collector Jafar Malik said a total of 1,35,320 votes were polled out of the 1,96,805 electorate in the constituency.

Till 6 PM, Thrikkakara witnessed a turnout of 68,167 female voters and 67,152 male voters. The lone transgender voter too exercised the voting rights.

The District Information Office said out of the 1,01,530 female voters, 67.13 per cent voted while 70.48 per cent of the 95,274 male voters exercised their rights.

As the voting, which began at 7 AM and concluded at 6 PM, the electronic voting machines were shifted to the strong rooms. The votes will be counted on June 3.

Meanwhile, the Congress party on Tuesday alleged that a local DYFI activist attempted bogus voting, a claim which was rejected by the CPI(M).

CPI(M) state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan alleged that it was the UDF which encouraged bogus voting.

"However, till now, no complaint has been filed by any presiding officer regarding any bogus voting," police told PTI.

Police said a tender vote was cast after a question of identity was raised against a voter.

According to Section 49P of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, if a voter realises that someone has already voted in her name, she can approach the presiding officer at the polling booth and flag the issue. UDF candidate Uma Thomas told the media that her party will file a case against the CPI(M) in the matter of alleged bogus voting.

While the CPI(M) candidate is a well-known cardiologist, Dr Jo Joseph, BJP has fielded its veteran leader, A N Radhakrishnan in the constituency.

The byelection was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA PT Thomas last year.

The constituency, which was formed in 2011, had elected senior Congress leader Benny Behanan as its first MLA.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, P T Thomas secured 61,268 votes, which was 45.42 per cent of the electorate while CPI(M)'s Sebastian Paul bagged 49,455 votes. That year, BJP's S Saji secured 21,247 votes.

However, in 2021, Thomas won with a slightly reduced of 59,839 while CPI(M) backed Dr J Jacob got 45,510 votes. BJP had bagged 15,483 votes in the 2021 polls.

Meanwhile, Twenty20, a political party backed by an industrial group here, had fielded a candidate in 2021 and secured 13,897 votes.

Even though Twenty20 had entered into an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party this time, they have not fielded a candidate but asked the people to vote judiciously.

The Left party has deployed all its party machinery in the constituency which the Congress considers as its impregnable fortress. Several Left front leaders, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues, and other MLAs were camping in the constituency to wrest back the seat from the Congress.

The Congress leaders, however, are confident that its traditional seat that stood strong with it even when there was a Left wave in 2021 would elect Uma Thomas, widow of PT Thomas to the state Assembly.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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