Over 12 percent polling in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) Over 12 percent of the total voters cast their ballots in the first two hours of polling on Monday in the ongoing Kerala state legislative assembly elections.

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.

Alappuzha district topped the list with 12.95 percent turnout followed by Malappuram with 12.71 percent, with the state capital district – Thiruvananthapuram, last with just 8.12 percent votes.

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.

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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.



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