Around 35 per cent electorate exercised their right to franchise for the local body polls in the northern most Kasaragod district till 1230 hours on Saturday as the process remained by and large peaceful.

The polling that began on a dull note in the district due to brief spell of rains in parts of the district in the morning hours picked up momentum by noon especially in the rural belts of the district as no major untoward incident was reported so far.

Voter turnout was relatively higher in most polling stations in the rural belts of the district where the electorates were seen standing up long queues before the polling stations as the CPI (M) stronghold of Madikkai and Palayi near Nileshwaram municipality registered around 50 per cent electorates turned up to register their votes.

Similarly, there was heavy turnout in the localities where the Indian Union Muslim League and Indian National League enjoyed support base especially in Pallikkare near Kanhangad and Chengala and Thalangara localities near Kasaragod.

The voting, that began at 07.00 AM has just began to pick up momentum in the Municipal limits of Kanhangad and Kasaragod, There was reports of “abduction” of a polling agent at the CPI (M) stronghold of Pilicode in the Southern end of the district as the UDF formally lodged a police complaint in connection with the incident.

A similar incident was reported at Palayi near Nileshwaram.

However, no case was registered in connection with the incident, police said.

Police force in strength, with the deployment of the personnel from neighbouring Karnataka, was keeping strict vigil on trouble mongers as no major untoward incident was reported from any parts of the district.

The district has 8,73,456 voters as 2,606 aspirants are contesting for the three-tier local bodies – 38 grama panchayats, three municipalities, six block panchayats and the District Panchayat consisting of 16 divisions.

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