Kottayam: The counting of votes polled in the September 5 bypoll held at Puthupally Assembly constituency in Kerala will begin at the Baselios College Auditorium at 8 am here on Friday.
Sources said 20 tables were arranged for the counting of votes. Five tables will count postal votes, 14 tables will count voting machine votes, and one table will count ETPBS votes for service voters.
As many as 74 officials were deputed for the counting of votes polled in 182 booths. A total of 21 voting machines will be counted in one round. The final picture will become clear after the counting of 11 rounds.
Puthupally constituency, where the bypoll was held following the demise of former two-time chief minister Oommen Chandy, recorded a polling percentage of 72.91.
Out of 1,76,417 voters, 1,28,624 exercised their franchise, of whom 64,084 were male and 64,538 female. Though a minor altercation was reported between UDF and LDF workers in front of a polling booth at Kooroppada, the bypoll was by and large peaceful.
In the 2021 Assembly election, the polling percentage was 74.9%, compared to 77.4% in 2016.
The bypoll to the Assembly seat was necessitated due to the demise of senior Congress leader and former two-time Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who represented the Assembly constituency for the last 53 years.
Chandy Oommen, son of former chief minister Oommen Chandy, who died on July 18, is the candidate for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
The ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) fielded Jaick C Thomas as its candidate, who contested against the former chief minister twice.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded the party’s Kottayam district president, G. Lijin Lal, as its candidate. Lijin Lal, who contested the Kaduthuruthy Assembly constituency in the previous election, settled in third position.
An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and three independent contestants were also in the fray.
Out of 8 panchayats, the ruling CPI (M) won 6 panchayats in the previous local body elections.
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Government came to power for second consecutive term by winning 99 seats out of the 140 Assembly seats in 2021, compared to 91 seats in the 2016 Assembly election, altering the four-decade-long electoral tradition in Kerala.