Thiruvambadi records massive voting
Kozhikode, Dec 4 (UNI) A massive voter turn out was recorded in Thiruvambadi Assembly by-poll in Kerala, the first after the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front government assumed office in the state six months ago.
Chief Electoral Officer and District Collector B Sreenivas told UNI close to around 80 per cent of a total of 160,984 voters exercised their franchise today. The polling came to a close at 1700 hrs.
Except minor scuffles in certain polling stations, the by-poll, held under tight security, was by and large peaceful, he added.
The election was necessitated by the death of CPI(M) member Mathai Chacko. The LDF pitted George M Thomas of the CPI(M) against Ummer Master of the Indian Union Muslim League, representing the UDF.
Chacko, who had won the constituency in May this year with a margin of over 5,000 votes, died of cancer recently.
The by-poll assumed sinificance as this was the first major electoral battle between the ruling Left Democratic Front and the opposition United Democratic Front since the former stormed to power in the state in May with 98 out of the 140 seats in the Assembly.
Recapturing Thiruvambadi was equally important for the UDF as well, as it was able to retain the seat in all elections held after delimitation of the constituency in 1977, except in 2006.
Senior leader K Karunakaran and his Democratic Indira Congress, which merged recently with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), were in the LDF camp.
Meanwhile, claiming credit for the free and fair poll, Opposition leader Oommen Chandy said it was possible thanks to deployment of a large posse of security forces at the behest of the UDF.
Counting of votes would take place on December seven.
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