Voter turnout drops in constituencies where BJP fancied its chances

Voter turnout drops in constituencies where BJP fancied its chances
BJP leader and Mizoram Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai shows his finger marked with indelible ink after casting his vote for the Kerala Assembly elections in Kozhikode. PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: The voter turnout during the Kerala Assembly Election on Tuesday was lower than that recorded in 2016 in most constituencies where a three-cornered contest was expected. However, BJP dismissed the view that the lower polling percentage would spoil its victory prospects.

The party had expected a higher polling percentage in the 20 constituencies where it put up a fierce challenge, thus making the contest a risky three-cornered one.

The polling percentage fell by 4 to 5% in such constituencies where the BJP had hoped for an upset win against the UDF and LDF candidates, the latest polling data indicates.

The party candidates have received the definite votes of our cadre, BJP leaders claimed.

They are also unperturbed about the chances of party's Nemom candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan though the all-important constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district witnessed a voter turnout of about 70% - 4% lower than the polling recorded in the 2016 polls when the BJP registered its first-ever win in the state or Lok Sabha polls.

Local BJP leaders asserted that the drop in voter cout may affect its rival parties, viz., Congress and the CPM.

Kummanam will win from Nemom, BJP office-bearers in the constituency said.

BJP had accorded high priority to several constituencies, including Nemom, in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Polling was lower in other seats too here such as Kazhakootam, Vattiyoorkavu, Kattakada and Thiruvananthapuram.

The same is the case with regard to seats elsewhere where the BJP offered a stiff challenge. Palakkad, Malampuzha, Konni, Kozhikode North, Thrissur and Ollur too reported lower polling than in 2016.

Among the constituencies where BJP fancies its chances, only Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district recorded a slightly higher voter turnout than that in the 2016 state polls. BJP state president K Surendran is widely expected to win from here, though no guesses could be made about his fate in another constituency, Konni, in southern Kerala.

In all the state recorded 74.02% polling on Tuesday though the figure could be revised upward on Wednesday as the votes cast in the late-evening too is added. The addition of postal ballots to the votes polled on the election day too is yet to be made.

The state recorded 77.35% polling in 2016. As per initial figures, 74.02%, the voter turnout dipped in the latest polls. (Kerala had recorded 77.68% polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and this figure was the highest recorded in the state in 30 years after the 79.03% polling in the 1989 parliament elections.)

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