Thiruvananthapuram: Despite covid overhangs, state’s central districts, that went to polls on Thursday in the second phase of local body elections, witnessed heavy voter turnout of 76 percent. Wayanad recorded the highest polling percent of 79.46 percent while Kottayam, currently featuring among top districts for daily covid cases, recorded the least at 73.91 percent. Palakkad recorded 77.97, Ernakulam 77.13 and Thrissur 75.03 % respectively. The statistics are based on primary data meaning, the final figures could indicate higher polling levels.
In phase-1 voting held for 5 districts on Tuesday, the voter turnout was 73.12 percent. In phase-2 polls of yesterday, corporations by large saw lower turnout : Kochi 62.01 and Thrissur 63.77 %. 14 block panchayats and 13 municipalities of Ernakulam recorded 80 percent poll turnout. 85 percent voters cast their ballots in Kottayam’s municipalities of Erattupettah and Muvattupuzha.
On Thursday, voting for the central districts began at 7 am. Heavy turnout was witnessed in all regions right from the beginning. 25 percent of voters cast their votes in the first 3 hours. Nearly all districts recorded 50 percent of their polling share by 1 pm noon with voter turnout by 5 pm crossing 75 percent. Several places saw long line-ups even as closure drew near. Covid-positive and quarantined persons reached booths dressed in PPE kits.
The final phase of elections, the third, will be held on 14th for remaining districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram. Counting will commence two days later on the 16th. During polls yesterday, 2 persons collapsed to death. The deceased were identified as Karunakaran(48) – a policeman on election duty at Batheri Assumption School in Wayanad and 53-year-old Shanmukhan who waited his turn at Kannur’s Puliyappanthodi Booth to vote.