Polling gets underway for by-election in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 2: Voting for the assembly by-election from Neyyattinkara segment near the Kerala capital got underway this morning on a brisk note.

Candidates of the ruling Congress-led UDF, CPI(M)-led LDF and BJP are engaged in the three-cornered fight in the rural constituency, located about 15 km south-east of the capital.

According to official sources, impressive voter turnout was reported from most parts of the rural segment in the initial hours itself.

A total of 1.6 lakh voters are eligible to cast their ballots in the polls.

Though the main battle in Neyyatinkara is between R Selvaraj (Congress) and F Lawrence (CPI-M) of LDF, entry of former Union Minister and senior BJP leader O Rajagopal has virtually turned the contest into a three-cornered one.

The by-poll is especially crucial for CPI-M as it is their sitting seat, vacated by R Selvaraj, who has joined Congress and is now contesting on the 'hand' symbol.

The poll also came at a time when CPI-M is on the defensive with several of its activists being arrested in connection with the murder of RMP leader TP Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam in Kozhikode on May 4.


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