Counting of votes polled for the April 12 Malappuram Lok Sabha bypoll will be held on Monday. The counting would begin by 8 am at the Government College here and the final results were expected by 11 am, official sources said. The EVMs are kept under tight security cover of state police and central force, they said.
The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of E Ahamed, a former Union Minister and leader of IUML, a key partner in the Congress-led UDF Opposition in the state.
Though the Muslim-dominated Malappuram was generally considered as a bastion of IUML, ruling CPI(M) and BJP claim that the political wind would blow in a different direction this time.
Congress-led UDF candidate and IUML General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty, LDF candidate M B Faisal (CPI-M) and NDA nominee N Sreeprakash of BJP were the main contestants in the fray.
Six independents are also trying their luck from the constituency.
A total of 71.33 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the bypoll, against the 71.11 per cent recorded in the last Parliament election here. Of the total 13,12,693 electorates, 9,36,315 persons including 4,93,433 women exercised their franchise.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Ahamed had won the seat by a margin of 1,94,739 votes against CPI(M)’s P K Sainaba.