In a record in the constituency, 86.3 per cent polling was registered in the crucial Piravom bypoll in Ernakulam district on Saturday, with both the Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led fronts hoping the heavy turnout augurs well for their respective groups.

As per final figures released by the Election Commission, 86.3 per cent of voters of 1.83 lakh electorate had exercised their franchise by 5 p.m. when polling came to a close.

In 1987, Piravom constituency had registered a record turnout of 85.45 per cent. Gopi Kottamurikkal of CPI(M) had won the Assembly polls then.

The highest turnout this time was 89.5 per cent in Maneed while the lowest was at Elanji — 82.5 per cent.

United Democratic Front candidate Anoop Thomas and his Left Democratic Front rival M.J. Jacob were among the early voters.

Police also registered case against two CPI(M) MLAs — Suresh Kurup (Ettumanoor) and Koliyakode N Krishnan Nair (Vamanapuram) under Sections 188 and 126 of the Peoples Representation act. Both MLAs were found at different polling stations.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of former Minister, T.M. Jacob, father of Anoop Jacob.

With the death of T.M. Jacob, the UDF strength in the 140 member Assembly had gone down to 71, while in the LDF camp,the recent resignation of Neyyatinkara MLA, Selvraj has reduced its strength to 67.

T.M. Jacob had won by a slender margin of 157 votes in the 2011 Assembly bypolls.

Counting will be held on March 21, 2012

Keywords: Piravom bypoll