THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala voters braved heavy rain this morning to cast their vote in bypolls for five Assembly seats in the state. Nearly 10 lakh people are eligible to vote in the election, which was necessitated because MLAs holding four of the five seats were elected to parliament in Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year. A bypoll for the fifth seat was necessary because of the death of the MLA holding the seat.
The five Assembly constituencies where voting is happening are Vatiyoorkavu, Aroor, Konni, Ernakulam and Manjeswaram. According to early reports there is heavy rainfall in four of the five constituencies; there is little to no rain in Manjeswaram.
Visuals coming in from the rain-hit constituencies show people wielding umbrellas and battling floods to reach polling booths. According to forecasts by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), thunderstorm and heavy rainfall warnings have been issued for parts of Kerala. The districts of Thiruvanathnapuram and Alappuzha, where elections are being held received heavy rain on Sunday as well.
The bypoll for the Manjeswaram seat was made necessary because of the death of the sitting MLA – the UDF’s PB Abdul Razack.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which swept to victory in 19 of 20 parliamentary seats in the April-May elections, will hope for a similarly dominant performance in this round of bypolls. The coalition holds four of the five seats; the fifth, Aroor, is held by CPI(M) MLA AM Arif.
The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, which fared miserably in parliamentary polls, winning only one seat, faces challenges from the UDF and the BJP-le National Democratic Alliance, which failed to win a single seat in Lok Sabha elections.
Nearly 900 polling stations have been set up across the five constituencies. There are a total of 35 candidates standing for election. Polling began at 7 am and is scheduled to end at 6.30 pm.
Source By NDTV