No major incidents of violence or booth capturing reported
A steady flow of voters registered a total 81.4 per cent turnout in the rural areas of Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.
Though the police department was ready with 1,500 personnel to meet any untoward incidents, there were no major incidents of violence or booth capturing reported till late in the evening.
Incidents of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctioning were comparatively minimal in the rural areas. Only five cases were reported on Thursday, which were rectified fast. In the last Assembly election, there were several EVM breakdowns reported from booths in the rural areas.
Situation was well under control in politically sensitive booths in Nadapuram and Onchiyam, where police deployment was heavy. In most of the booths, the polling percentage was steady since morning and crossed 50 per cent by noon. The two booths set up at the Nadapuram GUPS witnessed a polling percentage of 47 within four hours of the start of voting.
A focus point was the polling station at Nellachery LP School, where Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan used to vote. By 10 a.m., 39 per cent of the total 2,074 votes here was polled. K.K. Rema, wife of the slain RMP leader, and her family members too cast their vote here.
Turnout of women at the polling booths increased as the day progressed. Booths at Puthuppanam, Thiruvangoor, Orkkattery, and Perambra saw several senior citizen voters reaching the location supported by their family members. Most of them cast open votes.
In some locations, the police raised objections against the entry of political party representatives carrying voters who were physically unfit to walk or were paralysed. They were denied entry despite them quarrelling with the police. Relatives of the voters then entered the scene and took the voters into the polling booths for casting vote.
In Vadakara, a minor clash was reported between the activists of the UDF and the LDF over an alleged campaigning attempt of LDF candidate A.N. Shamseer during the polling.
A group of UDF workers tried to manhandle Mr. Shamseer, but the situation was quelled by the police.