Voting for the by-election in the Puthuppally assembly constituency in Kottayam district continued briskly with men, women and youngsters lining up early at booths that opened for polling at 7 am on Tuesday.
Within the first four hours of polling, there was a turnout of 26.6 per cent as evidenced by the long queues outside many of the total 182 polling stations in the constituency.
Till 11 am, 46,928 voters -- 24,682 men and 22,246 women -- had cast their votes, the district administration said. There are over 1.76 lakh registered voters in the constituency.
The ruling CPI (M) and the opposition Congress are locked in a fierce battle for the assembly seat representing this constituency that fell vacant after the demise of Congress stalwart and former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy.
Chandy represented the constituency in Kottayam district for more than five decades without any break until his demise on July 18.
The Congress-led opposition UDF has fielded Oommen Chandy's son, Chandy Oommen, which analysts view as an apparent strategy to capitalise on the sympathy wave following the former CM's death.
The ruling Left front once again decided to go with DYFI leader Jaick C Thomas who had unsuccessfully contested the segment in 2016 and 2021 against the late Chandy.
The BJP has fielded its Kottayam district president, G Lijinlal.
In the present composition of the 2021 Kerala Assembly with a total of 140 seats, the ruling LDF has 99 seats, UDF has 40 seats with one vacant Puthuppally assembly seat.
There are 1,76,417 voters, including 90,281 women, 86,132 men, and four transgenders, in Puthuppally constituency.
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