Malappuram: The run-up to the by-election to the Vengara Assembly constituency was not a high-decibel one. Even the hue and cry over the Pinarayi government ordering a Vigilance probe against former CM Oommen Chandy in the multi-crore solar scam did not seem to have much of an effect on the voters and polling went on peacefully in Vengara.
But the 2017 election ended on a high note with Vengara setting a record for the highest voter turnout – 72.12% in the constituency.
The 1.7-lakh strong constituency on Wednesday just bettered its previous election outing of 2016 – 70.77%. The Lok Sabha election held about 6 months ago had registered 67.70 percent voter turnout.
Voters – both young and old, men and women – stood in long queues to exercise their franchise across the 148 polling booths in the constituency since morning.
A voter (name not known) told Manorama News that he had to catch a flight back to the Gulf country on Wednesday itself and that's why he turned up early.
Counting of votes is scheduled for October 15.
The main fight in Vengara this time is between IUML's K.N.A. Khader and CPM's P.P. Basheer.
The bypoll was held to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty, following his election to Lok Sabha from the Malappuram seat that fell vacant after the death of party leader E. Ahamed in February.
Kunhalikutty had won the seat with an impressive margin of 38,057 votes in the 2016 election.