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Maphill

Over 45%, i.e. 4 million votes cast in the five hours of local body elections in Kerala which began from 7.00 am in the morning, even after rain tried to play spoilsport at Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.

The first phase of polling held at Thiruvananthapuram (33.33 %), Kollam (36%), Idukki (45.5 %), Kozhikode (43.33 %), Kannur (42.66 %), Wayanad (47 %) and Kasargode (45 %). Over one crore, voters are expected to exercise franchise by 5.00 p.m., where the ruling UDF pitted against the opposition LDF, and even BJP too is trying to build its inroad in these state.

The voting process was so far peaceful while polling stopped at some booths due to technical snags and minor skirmishes between rival groups in Kannur, an official said.

As many as 10.1 million people are eligible to cast their votes to decide the political control of 31,161 candidates in this phase. The desperate bid has seen between United Democratic Front (UDF) and opposition Left Democratic Front(LDF).

"The results of the civic polls are going to be path-breaking in the political history of the state, CPI-M politburo member Pinnarayi Vijayan told media persons after casting his vote.The Congress-led UDF will disintegrate once the results of the polls are out on November 7," Vijayan said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, washed out Vijayan's comment and said, "For the past four-and-half years, Vijayan has been saying this... But all that happened was, it was their ally partner who left them, and if some have left us, they are in dire straits now."
While BJP state President V Muralidharan said "Polls will see a new political change in the state."

The polls in the remaining seven districts - Alappuzha, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Malappuram and Palakkad - will be held in the second phase on November 5 and Counting will be held on November 7. Hence, it will be an interesting result of local body elections in Kerala in its political history.