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77 per cent polling in Ernakulam district

Kochi Bureau

Paravur leads with 83.96 per cent voting, Kunnathunadu is second with 83.35 per cent polling

Photos : H.Vibhu and by Special Arrangement

EXERCISING THEIR FRANCHISE:(From left) Nuns lining up in front of a polling booth in St.Marys Convent Girls Higher Secondary School, Ernakulam, on Wednesday; Fisheries Minister S. Sarma exercising his franchise at the Samooham High School, North Paravur; voters in front of a polling booth in St. Gregory's UP School at Kuzhuppilly in Vypeen. —

KOCHI: The district witnessed heavy polling in the Assembly elections, with a polling percent of 77 at the final count. In a surprising move, Paravur constituency edged past Kunnathunadu to lead with the highest voting percentage of 83.96.

This is the second most voting per cent across the State, which is led by Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode with 87.2.

Kunnathunadu made a headstart in polling with 20 per cent polled by 9.30 a.m., 40.4 per cent by 11.30 a.m. 57.6 per cent by 1 p.m., 71.7 at 3 p.m. and ended the figures at 83.35.

In comparison, Paravur started off with 17.7 per cent (9.30 a.m.), 36.2 percent (11.30 a.m.), 53.7 (1 p.m.) and 69.1 (3 p.m.) before making the final leap.

The Kochi constituency, formed during the delimitation drive by merging Mattanchery and parts of Palluruthy constituencies, witnessed the lowest polling percentage in the district, that of 65.2.

The polling percentage of other constituencies in the district were Perumbavoor 81.13, Angamaly 81.24, Aluva 80.25, Kalamassery 82.1, Vypeen 79.26, Tripunithura 76.9, Ernakulam 71.64, Thrikkakara 71, Piravom 78.8, Muvattupuzha 73.3 and Kothamangalam 74.12.

In a poll related incident, Muvattupuzha police arrested one person for assaulting a booth agent at one of the booths of St. Sebatian's High School, Aanikad.

The police said that Moideen, 76, the booth agent of the LDF, challenged in jest when Shamsu, 42, came for voting.

Though Shamsu belonged to Alappuzha, he had been staying in Muvattupuzha. Irked by this, Shamsu slapped Moideen on his way out of the booth.

In another incident, District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed, who is also District Election Officer, asked Varappuzha police to arrest one Booth Level Officer (BLO) for dereliction of duty.

Haridas of Department of Fisheries, was to issue the voter's slips signed by tahsildar at St. Philomina's Higher Secondary School, Koonamavu (booth number 124).

He reportedly arrived at the booth by 6 a.m., but was missing by 7 a.m. He did not distribute the slips and went missing without handing over the slip to the tahsildar. Voters could, however, cast their votes using the identity cards.

Poll officials at Ramanthuruth, in Kochi constituency with just 30 votes, were waiting for the last possible voter at 4.30 p.m.

Even though the electoral rolls showed 30 votes, the island has only 19 voters and 11 votes from Calvethy were added to Ramanthuruth by mistake. By 4.30 p.m., 18 persons had cast votes and the last voter did not turn up for voting till the time ended. Polling started with Wilfred Joseph casting the first vote from the sole booth in the island at 7.15a.m.

Voters from 22 families that were evicted from Moolamppilly for the Vallarpadom International Container Transshipment Terminal came in a ‘silent procession' to their polling booth at St. Joseph LP School, Moolamppilly. Leaders of the coordination committee for those displaced for development projects said that the procession, bearing placards and banners, was organised to counter the rumour that these voters would be forfeiting their voting rights in protest against delay in rehabilitation.

However, the committee would initiate strong protest measures if the promises given by all candidates during the election campaigns were not met. Almost all candidates visited the meetings held at High Court junction and Menaka Junction and expressed their solidarity with the cause of these evictees.

The first polling officer of booth number 11 at Pallippuram in Kunnathunadu constituency fainted during poll duty and was immediately replaced by an official in reserve duty to continue polling without any disruption.

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