The third and final phase of local body elections in Kerala Monday is likely to see a turnout higher than the first two phases, figures from the State Election Commission indicate.
As per data available till 3 pm, a voter turnout of 63.76 per cent was recorded in Malappuram, 63.32 per cent in
Kozhikode, 63.16 per cent in Kannur and 61.9 per cent in Kasaragod. The final polling figure will be available after 8 pm. If the present trend continues, the four districts are likely to record a turnout between 75 per cent and 80 per cent. In comparison, the first two phases of the elections recorded 72 per cent and 76 per cent turnout respectively.
Major political leaders such as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, state Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran, state BJP president K Surendran, former CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Muslim League state president Sayed Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal voted in their respective polling booths in the morning.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who largely stayed away from physically campaigning for the party due to Covid-19 restrictions told reporters after casting his vote: “This election will see a historic win for us. All opposition forces have united against us. Central agencies have provided them help. They think of shaking us and weakening us. But the results on Dec 16 will show who has been shaken and weakened.”
Barring stray incidents of violence in Kozhikode and Kannur districts, the election has largely been peaceful. Security presence has been fortified in polling booths which are classified as sensitive and prone to violence.
The elections in the final phase are being held to 273 village panchayats, 44 block panchayats, four district panchayats, 31 municipalities and two corporations. There are 89 lakh eligible voters in the four districts with 10,842 polling booths.