Kerala records 12.11 per cent polling till 9 AM

Thiruvananthapuram: About 12.11 per cent polling was recorded in Kerala in the first two hours with Kozhikode district registering the highest and the state capital recording the lowest. While Kozhikode recorded 13.16 per cent turnout till 9 AM, it was 9.62 per cent in Idukki and 8.21 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram.

The northern districts of the state-- Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad and Kozhikode- saw brisk polling. People were seen queuing up in various booths in the state much before the polling began at 7 AM. Overcast skies and heavy showers since last night in various places could impact the turnout. No untoward incident has been reported so far.

A 70-year-old voter collapsed and died before casting his vote in a booth at Perambra in Kozhikode. There were some incidents of malfunctioning of voting machines in some booths, but they were rectified immediately and polling was not affected.

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam and his wife cast their votes in a booth here. This is the first time a state governor has exercised his franchise in the state. Later, speaking to reporters, Justice Sathasivam said "as a first citizen (of the state), I request all citizens to come and vote. This is my humble request."

Former Meghalaya Governor M M Jacob also cast his vote. Among the early voters were CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and LDF's Chief Ministerial aspirant Pinarayi Vijayan, senior Congress leader A K Antony, IUML leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhaikutty and BJP's Rajya Sabha MP and actor Suresh Gopi.

93-year-old CPI(M) leader V S Achutanandan was seen visiting various booths in his Malampuzha constituency in the morning. He said heavy rush of voters in booths and the rains were a sign of "good tidings" to come. Rains are a blessing for the parched farmlands in Palakkad, he said.

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