Kerala records over 65 per cent polling by 4.30 pm

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 6 (PTI): Kerala continued to witness heavy polling in the crucial assembly elections on Tuesday with over 65 per cent of the total 2.4 crore voters having already cast their franchise to elect representativesin 140 constituencies.

Despite scorching heat and sporadic rain in many parts of the state, people, including women and senior citizens, stood in queues for a long time to take part in the democratic exercise.

According to Election Commission figures, a total of 65.93 per cent of the total votes were polled till 4.30 pm.

As many as 66.32 per cent men, 65.56 per cent women and 31.48 transgenders cast their vote by the time, it said.

Constituencies in northern Kannur, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thirssurwere among those districts which recorded comparatively higher polling percentage while southern districts like Pathanamthitta and Idukki reported lower percentage, according to sources.

Barring some technicalglitches and sporadic complaints of bogus voting, the election exercise has been smooth so far.

Isolated incidents of altercation between rival party activists were reported in some places in the state including Kazhakoottam here.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Dharmadam), leader of opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala (Haripad), senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy (Puthupally), BJP state president, K Surendran (Konni and Manjeswaram) and 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, (Palakkad) were among those who had voted.

Besides Vijayan, 11 of his cabinet colleagues are among the 957 candidates in the fray in the state. PTI LGK BN BN