With 194 contestants in fray, Kerala gears up for polls with over 2.75 cr voters

A total of194 contestants in 20 Lok Sabha seats are vying for voters' support as Kerala goes to the polls on Friday, after over a month-long fierce campaign by the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF, Congress-headed UDF, and the BJP-led NDA.
Representative image
Representative image

Thiruvananthapuram | A total of194 contestants in 20 Lok Sabha seats are vying for voters' support as Kerala goes to the polls on Friday, after over a month-long fierce campaign by the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF, Congress-headed UDF, and the BJP-led NDA.

The Election Commission said there are over 2.75 crore voters in Kerala where polling will commence at 7 am on Friday.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul said 63,100 bottles of ink are used to prevent fraudulent voting and ensure flawless and transparent elections.

This time there are 2,77,49,159 voters in the state out of which more than five lakh are first-time voters.

Kottayam constituency boasts the highest number of candidates at 14, while Alathur has the fewest at five. Other notable figures are: 13 candidates in Kozhikode and 12 each in Kollam and Kannur.

Of the total 194 candidates, 169 are men and 25 are women.

The Vadakara constituency stands out with the highest number of female candidates, at four.

The Election Commission said steps have been taken to ensure safe and peaceful polling by deploying 66,303 security personnel.

Kerala Police and Central forces are providing tight security for the polling in a total of 25,231 booths arranged at 13,272 places.

Police deployment has been made throughout the state as per the instructions of the Central Election Commission.

When the polling for 20 constituencies in the state begins at 7 am on Friday, more than five lakh first-time voters will go to the polling booth.

As the curtains fell on Wednesday evening, marking the conclusion of the over-month-long, high-octane public campaigning for the April 26 polls, Kerala on Thursday witnessed a silent campaign before the state votes.

Two union ministers, a state minister, three actors and a few MLAs are among the total candidates who try their political luck this time. BJP-led NDA is fielding the most number of women candidates - five.

Unlike the previous general elections, Kerala has seen a highly active and aggressive campaign.

Diverse issues ranging from the implementation of the CAA, the alleged existence of 'love jihad', controversies surrounding 'The Kerala Story' movie, the Manipur violence, Rahul Gandhi's candidature in Wayanad, as well as alleged appeasement of minorities by various political parties, dominated the high-decibel public campaigns.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the UDF won 19 of the 20 seats, while the LDF had to settle for just a single seat

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