Heavy rains affect polling in Kerala  

Heavy rains affect polling in Kerala  
 
Thiruvananthapuram:  Heavy rains dampened voting for bypolls to the five Assembly constituencies in Kerala on Monday morning and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts the showers to continue through the day.

The worst affected were Ernakulam and Konni constituencies, which recorded 4.9 per cent and 11.5 per cent voting till 9 a.m. respectively. Among the other three constituencies, Vatiyoorkavu witnessed 11.5 per cent, Aroor 12.8 per cent, and Manjeswaram 16.5 per cent polling till 9 a.m.

“A few polling stations have been shifted from the ground floor to the first floor in Ernakulam Assembly constituency. Around 500 officials, including police, are making the arrangements. We will wait for the reports from the district collectors of the constituencies. We have made arrangements to transport voters to the polling stations in some places. If needed, we will extend the polling time as well,” said Tika Ram Meena, the Kerala’s Chief Electoral Officer.

“In all these years, I have not lost the opportunity to cast my vote. I have never seen such rain on a voting day in my life, but I am determined to vote,” said a 78-year-old nun, who arrived at a flooded polling station in Ernakulam.

In Konni, a constituency with a hilly terrain, voters living in higher areas are finding it hard to reach polling stations after flooding left several roads unmotorable.

A total of 9,57,509 voters, including 4,91,455 women, 4,66,047 men and seven transgenders, are deciding the fate of 35 candidates at 846 polling stations in Vatiyoorkavu, Aroor, Konni, Ernakulam and Manjeswaram.

Polling began at 7 a.m. and will go on till 6.30 p.m. in the state.