Kochi: About 12% polling was recorded in the first two hours of the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency bypoll that began at 7 am on Wednesday.
No disruptions have been reported from any place as 3,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces oversee the smooth conduct of the by-election.
By-election in Kerala's Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency was necessitated following the death of former Union Minister and IUML leader E Ahamed.
Over 13 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise.
The main contenders are Congress-led-UDF candidate PK Kunhalikutty of Indian Union Muslim League, CPI-M candidate MB Faizal of ruling LDF and BJP’s N Sreeprakash.
Six independents are also in the fray.
There are more than 1100 polling stations in the constituency with a total electorate of 13,12,693.
The high voltage campaign saw workers of UDF, LDF and BJP engaged in hectic canvassing.
The UDF is making all out efforts to retain their stronghold while the ruling LDF is trying for an upset win.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Ahamed had won the seat by a margin of 1,94,739 votes against CPI(M)’s P K Sainaba.
UDF sought votes to protect secularism and strengthen secular forces at the national level while LDF attacked BJP on various issues.
BJP highlighted the achievements the NDA government at the Centre and the “anti-people” policies of Kerala government.
With PTI inputs