Northern districts of Kannur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode reported heavy polling till 12 PM, election commission sources said. Heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram saw a dip in polling, which began at 7 AM, in the initial hours though it picked momentum later recording about 30-35 per cent. The first phase of polling is being held at Kollam, Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kasaragod, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram with over one crore voters expected to exercise their franchise by 5 PM.
Barring some stray incidents in some booths, polling was by and large peaceful. Expressing confidence about the poll outcome, senior Congress leader and CWC member A K Antony said UDF will perform even better than the Aruvikkara bypoll in June this year which saw Congress candidate K S Sabarinath winning with a margin of over 10,000 votes.

"To think of an alternative to UDF is a terrifying dream for the voters," he said. With assembly polls scheduled to be held by mid-2016, the civic polls are being seen as semi-finals with both UDF and CPI-M led LDF exuding confidence about the outcome.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has made it clear that the polls will be a referendum of his government's five year rule. While CPI(M) state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the polls will see the downfall of the UDF, politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan said UDF will 'disintegrate' after the civic polls.

Latest News from State News Desk