An unusual “visitor” in a polling booth in Kerala’s Kannur Lok Sabha constituency, held up voting for a brief while on Tuesday.

A small snake was found inside a VVPAT machine in a booth at Mayyil Kandakkai in the constituency, which is witnessing heavy polling, triggering panic among officials and voters. However, the reptile was soon removed and voting resumed.

The Kannur constituency, where sitting MP PK Sreemathy (CPI-M-LDF), K Surendran (Cong-UDF) and CK Padmanabhan (BJP-NDA) are trying their luck, is witnessing brisk polling since the morning.

Kerala has recorded 54.84 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm.

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Numerous complaints of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and death of six people who had gone for voting were reported from across Kerala on Tuesday as the state is voting to elect 20 Lok Sabha members.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Wayanad), Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam (Ernakulam) and two-time sitting MP Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram) are key candidates from the state.

As many as 13 sitting MPs, nine MLAs, and two actors are among the candidates contesting the polls.

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(With PTI inputs)