Fisticuffs in Kerala polls: From party clashes to actor Mammooty stealing limelight from BJP

Fisticuffs in Kerala polls: From party clashes to actor Mammooty stealing limelight from BJP

While BJP activists protested when the media captured images of Mammootty casting his vote in Kochi, UDF workers protested when a CPM worker carried a LDF flag at a poll booth in Arunmala

Trouble seems to brewing at various parts of the State amidst the polling that is progressing at a brisk pace. There was a clash between the CPM and Congress workers at booth No 233 at Aranmula. The clash was a result of a CPM worker standing in front of the polling booth with a flag carrying the LDF symbol in hand. When Congress workers questioned his act, it led to a war of words and soon fists.

VP Abdul Rasheed, a UDF candidate in Anthoor, Kannur, was said to have been manhandled by LDF activists when he questioned the partisan manner of the polling officers. Rasheed claimed that the officers were not following steps to identify the voters. A verbal battle ensued when LDF workers in turn pointed out that it is wrong for a candidate to intervene in the polling duties inside a booth. The verbal debate soon led to scuffle which the police had to intervene.

It was fisticuffs at Kazhakkottam, Thiruvananthapuram between CPM and BJP workers. According to sources, four BJP workers were injured during the attack by CPM booth workers. The saffron party claims women BJP workers were also attacked during the scuffle. Sobha Surendran, BJP’s Kazhakkottam candidate arrived on spot. She claimed that her party members often faced harassment in Kazhakkottam. She added that several of the party’s flex boards were found mutilated. The BJP leader claimed that a section of the police were lackadaisical about the attacks as they were working for CPM leader Kadakampally Surendran. Sobha, who could not cast her vote in Thrissur due to the incident in Thiruvananthapuram, urged the authorities to take action against the miscreants.

Actor Mammootty was a subject of conflict in Kochi as BJP activists protested the presence of the media at the polling booth. According to BJP candidate at Thrikkara, S Saji’s wife, the media’s presence at the venue, was a nuisance to other voters. Reports however state that the poll booth had barely a handful of voters at the time. The altercation is said to have occurred when the police tried to shoo the media away following protests by the BJP. Mammootty, after placing his vote told the media that everyone should be weary and cautious during the Covid period.

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