Ernakulam: EVMs are shifted to strong room in Ernakulam, Kerala on Sep 22, 2019. Bye-elections will take place in five assembly constituencies of Kerala on October 21 this year. The elections will be held for the constituencies of Vattiyoorkavu, Ernakulam, Aroor, Konni and Manjeshwaram. (Photo: IANS)
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The Congress on Monday officially asked the district returning officer of Kochi to order for the official voting time at the Ernakulam assembly constituency to be extended till 8 p.m.

According to the official figures of the chief electoral office till 2 p.m, only 33.79 per cent of the voters could cast their votes.

At the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, this constituency saw a voter turnout of 73.29 per cent.

Speaking to the media, V. D. Sateeshan senior Congress legislator and one overseeing the party’s election activities said that consequent to the rains that began on Sunday night which led to flooding, the first three hours of voting saw a very low turnout.

“Voters were busy trying to save their belongings following the flooding and hence they were unable to go to exercise their franchise. So we have now officially asked the concerned election authorities for an extension of the time till 8 p.m. Moreover, we have also asked them to order re-polling wherever the majority of the voters were unable to cast their votes,” said Sateeshan.

“In a democracy all should be given a fair chance to vote, as of now, many are unable to reach the polling stations due to the flooding,” he added.

Ernakulam CPI-M secretary C. Mohanan said that he feels there is no need for deferring the polls on account of rain, as it has affected only a few polling stations and that people are coming out to vote.

At the 2016 assembly polls, the Congress candidate Hibi Eden won this seat with a margin of over 21,000 votes and at the Lok Sabha polls recently he extended his lead to over 30,000 votes.

This particular seat has been a pocket borough of the Congress for long.

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