Kerala Local Body Polls sees 74% polling in second phase

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The second phase of Kerala Local Body Polls concluded with a polling percentage of 74. Palakkad, Alappuzha and Kottayam have a voter turnout of 77%. Pathanamthitta has the lowest polling rate with 70%. Malappuram, where polling was interrupted for hours, have reported a voter count of 74% so far. Polling is still progressing in Malappuram.  Repolling will be done in 31 booths in Malappuram and Thrissur Districts where polling was interrupted. 27 booths in Malappuram and 4 booths in Thrissur will have repolling held on November 6. The first phase, conducted on November 2nd, had a polling percentage of 77.83. Counting will be held on Saturday, November 7.

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission is considering the situation in Malppuram, where sabotage attempt is suspected. Voting had been interrupted for hours in 270 polling booths in Malappuram district. The State Election Commission (SEC) then voiced a suspicion of sabotage attempt. Rolls of paper were found duct-taped to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in all the booths, thus preventing voting. The situation was rectified around afternoon and polling was resumed. Polling will continue till 7 PM in the affected booths. Malappuram District is the strong-fort of UDF ally Muslim League. Power-struggle between league and Congress has been going on in Malappuram ever since the seat division for the LSG election began. In several wards, League and Congress candidates are in a direct face-off. League leaders have expressed dissatisfaction over the issue and have staged protests at the District Headquarters.

The Malappuram District Collector has filed a report SEC which is presently under consideration. Decisions, including re-polling, will be taken by the SEC after studying the report. SEC had confirmed that failure in the EVM is due to external intervention, thus pointing to deliberate sabotage attempt.

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