Controversies and accusations have erupted soon after polling started in the second phase of the Kerala local body elections. Wadakkancherry MLA Anil Akkara took to Facebook to accuse Local Self Government minister AC Moideen for breaching election protocols.
According to the legislator, the minister had posted his vote in Thrissur’s Thekkumkara at 6:55 am, earlier than the scheduled 7 am. The MLA had alleged that it is a breach of protocol and that action must be taken against the minister. The State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran has stated that they would probe into it once they get a complaint in this regards.
This is where it gets complicated. Moideen has been an early voter in the past, and according to sources, he had been waiting for a while at the beginning of a queue that had formed behind him. Reportedly, the presiding officer had called him once they set up the booth, in the presence of the media, and Moideen went in to cast his vote.
Interestingly, the presiding officer did invite him in before the scheduled 7 am. However, no one opposed the timing at the time, according to the minister. The controversy popped open after the minister had voted and Anil Akkara had taken it forward. “Such controversies won’t affect the elections,” said AC Moideen, adding, “I was waiting in the queue much before the voting. I only went inside when the presiding officer had called me in. We know who are making such controversies. The people will recognise the BJP-Congress unity.”
Currently, polling is ongoing in Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kottayam, and Wayanad as part of the second phase. With almost five hours past, the polling average has hit 37.21% with Wayanad leading with 38.39%. Even though the pandemic is still ongoing, may booths are witnessing long queues.