Thiruvananthapuram, April 23: Electoral battle for the 20 parliamentary segments in Kerala has ended. Prominent personalities including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, actors Mammootty and Mohanlal cast their votes in Kerala. The electorate were be allowed to cast their votes till 5pm -- barring the 162 polling stations where voting will be curtailed at 3pm as those pockets are affected by left-wing extremism. Till 6pm, a total turnout of 73.06 per cent was recorded.
Officers on poll-duty told reporters that 4,482 voting stations have been identified as "sensitive", where high-security would be maintained till the ballots are transferred to the strongrooms. Another 817 booths are listed as critical polling stations and 425 as vulnerable booths. Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Phase 3 Voting in 117 Seats Today, Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah in Fray.
To ensure adequate security, the Election Commission has deployed 57 companies of central forces and over 4,700 security personnel of the state police on poll duty.
The overall electorate size in Kerala is 2.61 crore -- out of which, 1,26,81,992 are males and 1,34,64,688 females. 173 voters belong to the third gender.
The first-time voters, in the age-group of 18-19, collectively number around 2 lakh. They are expected to play a critical role in influencing the outcome in some constituencies.
List of Seats Going to Polls in Kerala:
|State (No. of seats)||Lok Sabha constituency|
|Kerala (All 20)||Kasaragod, Kannur, Vadakara, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ponnani, Palakkad, Alathur, Thrissur, Chalakudy, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Mavelikkara, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Attingal, Thiruvananthapuram|
The electoral contest is primarily between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has also led an aggressive campaign, but their prospects were chalked out by pollsters ahead of the elections.
The voting also features the candidature of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad as his second seat. The Gandhi scion would be in the polling fray on May 12 as well, when voting will be held in Amethi.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the UDF had succeeded in defying the nationwide anti-Congress wave, as it retained the maximum share of parliamentary segments in Kerala. Out of the 20 constituencies, the centrist coalition won 12 seats, whereas, the Left Front was restricted to 8.