Voting peaceful; voters flock to booths despite blistering heat

The Ernakulam Parliamentary constituency registered an impressive voter turnout of 73.2 per cent in the 16th Lok Sabha elections held on Thursday.

Of the seven Assembly segments in the constituency, Paravur witnessed the highest voter turnout of 78.3 per cent while Kochi recorded the lowest per centage at 67.5 per cent. The polling per centage recorded in the other segments were; Kalamassery - 74.7 per cent; Vypeen - 74.8 per cent; Tripunithura - 74.5 per cent; Ernakulam – 68.8 per cent; and Thrikkakara - 72.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the polling per centage in the Assembly segments of Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam, which form part of the Idukki Lok Sabha constituency, stood at 72.3 and 74.7 respectively. Similarly, Piravom, which is part of the Kottayam Lok Sabha constituency, recorded a voter turnout of 72 per cent. As per the estimates of the Election Commission, the Lok Sabha constituency recorded an overall polling per centage of 72.78 per cent during the general elections in 2009.

Officials said polling passed off peacefully in the entire district with no untoward incidents being reported from any part of the district. Although polling had a slow start in the morning, it picked up momentum as the day wore on. At booths like Cochin College in Mattancherry and VHSS Panangad, polling began slowly. One hour into the polling, the voter turnout stood at 7 per cent and it improved to 43.4 per cent by 1 pm. The momentum, however, took a dip towards the end with rain lashing in different parts of the region.

Ramanthuruth, the polling booth that has the lowest number of voters, recorded total polling with all the 20 voters casting their votes.

District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam, who is also the Returning Officer for the Ernakulam and Chalakudy constituencies, cast his vote at SRVUP school in Ernakulam. Excise Minister K.Babu cast his vote at the Tripunithura Girls High School while P.Rajiv, MP, voted at the Cochin University at Kalamassery. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer and writer M.K. Sanoo exercised their franchise at SRV School. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, and Archbishop of Verapoly Francis Kallarakkal voted at St. Mary’s High School.

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