Heavy polling has been reported in the three assembly constituencies in the Kerala by-polls. According to information available with rediff.com, Kannur recorded 20 per cent polling at 10 am while Alappuzha recorded 14.5 per cent and Ernakulam 12.90 per cent.
The Kannur by-poll has been marred by allegations and counter-allegations between the Communist Party of India - Marxist and the Congress.
Chief Minister Achuthanandan has openly spoken up against the Election Commission for its decision to send several companies of paramilitary forces to Kannur.
Kannur district collector V K Balakrishnan was also transferred; owing to allegations by the Congress that he was directly involved in doctoring electoral rolls by including voters who were not based in the constituency.
According to the police, polling in the state has so far been peaceful. Kannur Member of Parliament and Congress senior leader K Sudhakaran told rediff.com that the central forces deployed in the booths had boosted the confidence of the voters, who had lost faith in the state police led by Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
The Congress leader alleged that the CPI-M was trying to provoke the voters in the rural constituencies.
CPI-M leaders, on the other hand, claimed that the polls are being held in a free and fair manner. They stated that the Congress' allegations about the possibility of massive rigging and untoward incidents had turned out to be a big lie.