Kerala is a prominent state in Southern India and has the highest literacy rate in India. In 2009, while some old constituencies have been removed, some new ones have been added as a result of the new delimitation rules. 2009 saw a body-blow dealt to the Left Parties and so good gains by the Congress in Kerala,
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Heavy voter turnout is being reported from the three constituencies of Kannur, Ernakulam and Alappuzha at the end of the first hour of polling.

The three constituencies have reported an average of 7 per cent of polling. Kannur recorded polling per cent of 9 in the first hour of polling. Alappuzha recorded 7 per cent polling.

Devaswom Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran

Palakkad, Tuesday, November 10, 2009: Devaswom Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran has said that a time-bound action programme will be implemented at Sabarimala to provide more facilities to Ayyappa devotees visiting the temple there for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage starting on November 16.

Inaugurating the first State conference of the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom here, he said that every year, more facilities were to be arranged, as the number of pilgrims increased. Last year, more than three crore devotees reached the temple and this year, more were expected.

He said 550 new latrines and 80 bathrooms were being set up for the pilgrims this season. As many as 25 lakh Aravana cans would be stored at the Sannidhanam. Aravana would be given on demand. Steps were taken to ensure its quality. The roads leading to Sabarimala would be repaired before the pilgrim season.

He said a meeting of the Ministers of the southern States held recently had decided to make coordinated efforts to provide more facilities to pilgrims coming to Sabarimala from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. These States would cooperate in the management of waste and environmental pollution of Sabarimala.

He said a review meeting to assess the arrangements made for the pilgrimage would be held at Pampa on November 15. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan would preside. He and several other Ministers would participate.

The Minister said the government would take steps to provide an easy passage to pilgrims through the inter-State check-posts at Walayar, Govindapuram, Gopalapuram and Meenakshipuram in Palakkad. The pilgrims would be provided facilities to take rest and food on the route to Sabarimala.

Thennala G. Balakrishna Pillai, former MP and president of the sanghom, presided. V. Chenthamarakshan, MLA; C. Haridas, former MP; Maleth Saraladevi, former MLA and State convener of the women’s wing of the sanghom; and D. Vijayakumar, State president of the sanghom; were present.