The first phase of civic polls in Kerala in seven districts witnessed a 75 percent turnout till 5 PM despite considerable rainfall throughout the day. The polling went peacefully without any major incidents of violence with long queues before the polling booth even at 5 PM on November 2 while the other seven districts will go for polls on November 5.
Speaking on the role of BJP making it a triangular contest for the first time which is usually a LDF versus UDF clash, former union minister A K Antony said, "BJP's electoral mandate is not a concern in Kerala but it gaining a foothold is a concern as it will shatter the social harmony of the state," as he rubbished the prospects of BJP doing well. Both AK Antony and Pinarayi Vijayan, Politburo member of the CPI(M) were categorical that the BJP will come only third in the polls.
The current phase involved a total of 31, 161 candidates seeking mandate for 9,220 wards which ranged from district, block and village level panchayats along with city and town corporations. According to the Election Commission there were an estimated 1.11 crore voters.
Capital city Thiruvananthapuram saw the lowest turnout of 75 percent which in itself is quite high compared to other parts of the country, while Wayanad registered 80 percent.
In Erattupetta, one LDF candidate was stabbed by unknown assailants, while another LDF candidate had to be taken to the hospital after he was attacked in a separate incident in Perinad panchayet in Kollam. An UDF candidate was also attacked in the state capital.
Pictures : CPIM Facebook page