Polling to be held today in 2,406 booths
After the high-octane campaign lasting about three weeks, stage is now set for polling in the nine Assembly segments across Kottayam that will begin at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to officials, all arrangements are in place in the 2,406 polling booths in the district. Prior to commencing the polling, a mock poll to test the efficiency of the electronic voting machines will be conducted at 5.30 a.m. Of the total polling stations, one booth in each Assembly segment will be run by women officials.
Earlier on Monday, the distribution of polling materials to the officials on election duty was carried out at the respective distribution centres. District Collector M. Anjana oversaw the distribution process.
Meanwhile, the district will represent Kerala in the International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2021 (IEVP), which envisages a live telecast of the polling process in 26 countries. As part of it, the District Collector will go live briefing about the polling proceedings to be held in booths 74 and 75 at CMS College High School, Kottayam.
As many as 15.93 lakh voters will decide the fate of 66 candidates contesting in the nine Assembly segments in the district.
After a rigorous campaign, candidates made good use of the “silent campaign” period with some of them catching up with home-cooked food after a long gap and others working out logistics for the polling day.
In Pala, which is witnessing one of the most keenly watched contests in the State, leading candidates Jose K. Mani and Mani C. Kappan reached out to maximum number of voters in person to ensure their support. Though their campaigning drew to a close here as early as Saturday, the two parties were locked in a bitter fight even on the final day by filing complaints of poll code violations against each other to the Election Commission.
Beyond the coalition equations, the consolidation of votes along religious lines is expected to determine the final outcome in Poonjar. The remaining seats, meanwhile, are witnessing a straight fight between the UDF and the LDF while the NDA hopes to put up a strong performance in Kanjirappally.
Senior Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who are contesting from Puthuppally and Kottaym respectively, too spent the day with personal meetings and interactions with booth-level agents.
With 80.75%, Vaikom recorded the highest polling percentage in Kottayam during the Assembly elections in 2016, closely followed by Ettumanur with 79.69%. Kaduthuruthy, which recorded an overall polling percentage of 69.39%, stood last on the list.
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