Kannur district witnessed brisk but largely peaceful polling in the election held in 11 Assembly constituencies on Wednesday. The district recorded a polling percentage of 80.4 per cent by 5 p.m. As the polling is still continuing in some polling stations, the polling percentage is expected to go up.

The polling that began at 7 a.m. went smoothly as no major poll-related incidents involving rival party workers marred the election in any part of the district. In many parts of the district, which has a total 1,576 polling stations, people came in early to cast their votes.

The district recorded eight per cent of polling in the first hour itself. The percentage doubled in two hours. The polling percentage crossed 40 per cent by 1 p.m. It rose to 62 per cent by 3 p.m. The total percentage of polling in the district, according to official figures is 80.4 per cent at 5 p.m., though polling was continuing in many polling stations. The percentage was a record in the district. In the 2006 election, the district had recorded 77.46 per cent polling, the highest in the State.

The poll percentage in each of the 11 constituencies in the district is as follows: Payyannur – 81.8 per cent; Kallyasseri – 80.8; Taliparamba – 82.9; Irikkur – 77.2; Azhikode - 82.9; Kannur – 78.7; Dharmadam – 82.6; Thalassery – 78; Koothuparamba – 77; Mattannur – 82.7 and Peravur – 78.6.

The election held amidst unprecedented law and order arrangements, including the deployment of the personnel of the Central paramilitary forces, was peaceful when compared to past elections.

Nearly 5,000 police personnel, including the Central paramilitary forces, were posted for law and order duties in the polling stations and for patrolling duties. Hectic polling was recorded in most of the polling booths even in those located in some of the sensitive areas, including Panur, Patyam and Kathirur.

Large number of voters, including women, stood in queues in front of polling booths to cast their votes.

The alleged attack on the vehicle of sitting MLA A.P. Abdullakutty, who is seeking re-election from the Kannur constituency, was the only incident that marred the otherwise peaceful election. The car in which he was travelling was allegedly stopped by suspected Left Democratic Front (LDF) activists at Puravur U.P. School at Munderi at around 4.30 p.m.

The police said the windscreens of the vehicle were smashed by miscreants. In another incident that occurred in the morning, LDF activists allegedly stopped P. Indira, United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate in the Kallyasseri constituency, while she was visiting a booth at the K.P.R. Gopalan Smaraka Higher Secondary School at Kallyasseri.

At Kanhirangad in the Taliparamba constituency, an autorickshaw of a UDF booth agent was damaged allegedly by Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists. Apart from such isolated incidents, polling was peaceful.

Prominent leaders and Ministers hailing from the district cast their votes in their respective polling booths in the morning. Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who is also LDF candidate in the Thalassery constituency, exercised his franchise at the polling booth at the Junior Basic School at Kodiyeri in the constituency, while Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed polled his vote at Anayidukku Government L.P. School in the Kannur constituency.

Devaswom Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally contesting in the Kannur constituency as LDF candidate polled his vote at the Edamana U.P. School in the Kallyasseri constituency. CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan cast his vote at the R.C. Amala Basic School at Pinarayi in the Dharmadam constituency.

K. Sudhakaran, MP, polled his vote at the St. Michael's School here in the Kannur constituency, while Communist Marxist Party leader M.V. Raghavan, who is the UDF candidate in Nenmara in Palakkad, opted for open vote at the Burnassery BEMP School here.

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