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By-election 2019: Rains hit voting in Kerala; polling stations submerged

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Kochi, Oct 21: Heavy rains disrupted voting in Ernakulam Assembly constituency as voters waded through water-logged roads to exercise their franchise on Monday.

Meanwhile, the IMD has sounded an orange alert of heavy rainfall from 11-20 cm for Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Wayanad.

Representational Image

The movement of trains was also affected and the state government put NDRF teams on alert in Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta to deal with the heavy rains.

Voters waded through knee-deep water in some booths in waterlogged Kochi city and vehicles kept off the roads. Water had also entered some booths.

Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena told reporters here that as of now, there was no situation that warrants postponing the by-poll in Ernakulam.

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"Though water entered some polling booths, all arrangements have been made to conduct polling smoothly, he said adding 10 water-logged booths on the ground floor in Ernakulam had been shifted to the first floor, " he told PTI.

"We are observing the situation. If voting has begun late in some booths we will consult the Election Commission to find out if voting time can be extended beyond 6 p.m," he said.

In Konni, there was some concern in the morning, but it was not an alarming situation, he said. The CEO said people should come to polling booths even if there are difficulties.

Constituencies of Konni, Vattiyoorkavu and Aroor have been witnessing rains since morning but the worst affected was Kochi city and nearby areas in Ernakulam.

Voter turnout at noon in Manjeswharam was 29.5 per cent, while it 16.3 per cent in Ernakulam. In Aroor, it was 26.9 per cent, while Konni and Vattiyoorkavu recorded 27.2 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, opposition Congress headed UDF and BJP-led NDA are the three fronts are in tough battle for the five seats. The strength of the voters in the 5 constituencies is 9.57 lakh.

with PTI inputs

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