About 80 percent turnout in Kerala bypoll (Lead)

June 2nd, 2012 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Thiruvananthapuram, June 2 (IANS) An estimated 80 percent of the electorate voted Saturday in the assembly by-election at Neyyattinkara in Kerala, officials said.

The turnout was so heavy that many voters continued to stand in queues outside polling booths even after the end of balloting at 5 p.m.

The constituency has 164,856 voters.

In the triangular fight, former central minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader O. Rajagopal is pitted against F. Lawrence of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and R. Selvaraj of the Congress.

Selvaraj became a Congress candidate after quitting the CPI-M in March. He won the 2011 assembly election by 6,702 votes.

Seeing the huge turnout, all three candidates vowed to win.

“I will win by an enhanced margin than what the CPI-M got last year,” said Lawrence.

He said the May 4 murder of former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekheran, a crime blamed on his party, would not affect the outcome.

Selvaraj said he would win again. “No one needs to have a doubt, this time I will win.”

The results will be out June 15.

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