India

Kerala Assembly elections 2021 results: Counting of postal votes underway


Today, Kerala is bracing itself for the outcome of the Assembly election as votes will be counted to decide the fate of 957 candidates. Left Democratic Front, United Democratic Front, National Democratic Alliance and others are the major alliances are in fray.

Security has been beefed up in north Kerala in view of the counting. The number of counting halls has in fact gone up from 140 last time.

Here are the latest updates from Kerala. For live updates on results of the other elections, follow Assam | Puducherry | Tamil Nadu | West Bengal.

8.30 am

Number of postal votes go up in Kozhikode

The counting of votes for the 13 Assembly segments in Kozhikode district commenced at 8 a.m. today.

Unlike the 2016 elections, the number of postal votes has gone up this time.

The postal votes received in the district were over 63,000 — five times higer than that of the previous polls. As a result, the counting of votes polled in EVMs have started befor before the completion of counting of postal votes. They are both taking place simultaneously now.

To adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, the number of polling booths have also gone up this time, which means that it takes about 20 to 25 minutes to finish a round of counting.

Although the first leads are expected to be known by 9 a.m., the declaration of final results will likely be delayed.

Employees deputed for counting duty reached their designated venues at 6 a.m. The officials, as per norms, took an oath of secrecy before the counting began.

8 am

Postal ballots first, EVMs to follow

The counting of votes is set to begin in a few minutes across Kerala.

The final arrangements are progressing in the 633 counting halls in 114 centres. The storage rooms where the electronic voting machines (EVM) were stored after the April 6 polls were opened at 6 a.m.

Evms being taken from strong room to counting hall in Thiruvananthapuram

Evms being taken from strong room to counting hall in Thiruvananthapuram
 
| Photo Credit: PRD

The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m. By 8.30 a.m., the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM) will also will begin.

Kerala had registered a voter turnout of 74.06% in the April 6 polls. Of the total electorate of 2,74,46,039 in the State, 2,03,27,893 exercised their franchise. The ECI had distributed a total of 5,84,238 postal ballots  to various voter categories including 80-plus voters, persons with disabilities, COVID-19 patients, people employed in essential services and polling officials.

7.50 am

Kalamassery is a keenly-watched contest

The contest in the Kalamassery Assembly constituency is a keenly watched one with senior CPI(M) leader P. Rajeev of the LDF pitted against the son of sitting MLA V. K. Ebrahimkunju, V. E. Abdul Gafoor of the IUML as his closest rival.

The constituency has returned IUML’s Mr. Ebrahimkunju to the Assembly on both occasions after the Assembly was constituted in 2011. There are seven candidates in the fray in 2021 and the fierce rivalry between the UDF and LDF for the constituency has made it a contest of note.

Mr. Ebrahimkunju is one of the accused in the Palarivattam flyover building scandal and the issue has pushed Kalamassery into the limelight across Kerala. P. S. Jayaraj of the BDJS, which is part of the NDA, is another key participant in the seven-cornered contest.

The voting percentage in 2016 was 81.29%. It came down to less than 80% in 2021, which was considered worrying by the incumbent political front. A total of 1,54,882 votes were polled in 2016 of which Mr. Ebrahimkunju had bagged 44.37% while A. M. Yusuf of CPM bagged 37.55%. BDJS’ V. Gopakumar bagged 15.65% votes. – K. A. Martin

7.30 am

Quick look

The votes will be counted in 633 counting halls across 114 centres, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Thursday. The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m., and the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM), at 8.30 a.m.

About 2.74 crore voters exercised their franchise on April 6 as Kerala went to polls where 69.95% turnout was recorded.

In Kerala, the BJP and the Congress promised to keep the Sabarimala shrine out of bounds for women of menstruating age citing tradition while the LDF quietened its stance fearing a Hindu backlash. A constituent of the LDF said ‘love jihad’ was a matter of concern.

Read Editorial | Much is at stake for Left and Cong. in Kerala

Listen: Can the Left front beat a communal campaign to make history in Kerala | The Hindu In Focus Podcast

Watch: What’s in store for Kerala?

 

Kerala gears up for Assembly poll results

Kerala is bracing itself for the outcome of the Assembly elections on Sunday.

The counting for the 2021 Assembly elections is unlike any other in the State’s history. The celebratory atmosphere that marks the tallying of votes will be conspicuously absent due to the COVID-19 ban on public jubilation.

Party workers will confine displays of triumph and despair largely indoors. The tabulation of votes will take more time, given the many postal ballots. The long wait for the results since polling day on April 6 has put political parties on tenterhooks.

Pre-poll and post-poll surveys had given the Left Democratic Front (LDF) a lead over the Congress-led United Democratic Front (LDF) Opposition.

However, the UDF has stiffly contested the poll predictions. 

 

 

Elaborate arrangements for counting in place in Kerala

The counting of votes polled in the April 6 Assembly elections in the State scheduled for May 2 is designed to be an elaborate exercise, given the need to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines.

The votes will be counted in 633 counting halls across 114 centres, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Thursday. The counting of the postal ballots will start at 8 a.m., and the counting of votes polled in the electronic voting machines (EVM), at 8.30 a.m.

The number of counting halls has in fact gone up from 140 last time, Mr. Meena said. The number of halls was increased as the Election Commission of India asked States to reduce the number of tables per hall from 14 to seven to meet physical distancing norms. This effectively means, three to four halls for each assembly segment.

 



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