Thiruvananthapuram: Brisk polling was reported from all voting stations in the by-election to Piravom constituency yesterday.

Reports said there was a 60 per cent voter turnout in some places by noon. The final turnout was expected to be above 95 per cent. In the last election, only 79.08 per cent of the electorate cast votes — this is below the state average of 84.23 per cent.

The result will be announced on March 21 (Wednesday).

The demise of the sitting MLA and Food Minister T.M. Jacob six months ago necessitated the by-election.

The ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) has fielded Jacob's son Anoop Jacob while the opposition candidate is CPI(M) leader M.J. Jacob. He had lost to the late Jacob in the last election by a narrow margin of 154 votes. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader R. Rajagopal is the third candidate in the fray.

Anoop, a practising lawyer at the Kerala High Court, is contesting for the first time. He is president of the youth wing of the Kerala Congress (Jacob), a party formed by his father. In case he wins, the UDF has offered him a ministerial berth with the same portfolios his father handled.

M.J. Jacob was president of his village council twice. He also represented the constituency in the last Assembly.

Udupi-Chikmagalur poll

Meanwhile, a tense wait has set in for the ruling BJP in Karnataka ahead of today's by-election to the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha seat whose outcome will have a major impact on the party's fortunes.

Over 1.24 million people, of them over 635,000 women, are eligible to vote in the bypoll caused by BJP's D.V. Sadananda Gowda quitting the seat after he became Chief Minister on August 4 last year.

The vote count is on March 21.

— With inputs from IANS