Polling in the second phase of local body elections passed off peacefully in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur district on Wednesday with an approximate 80 per cent polling in each district. K.Baskaran, Thanjavur Collector and C.Munianathan, Tirvarur Collector, said the second phase was incident free.
In Thanjavur, polling was held for Pattukottai municipality, seven town panchayats and seven panchayat unions. Long queues were noticed at Melaulur, Orathanadu, Papanadu, Madukkur and Pattukottai till noon. Muslim women turned up in large numbers at Madukkur.
R. Vaidyalingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, cast his vote at Panchayat Union Primary School at Telungankudikadu in Orathanadu taluk whereas M.Rangaswamy, Thanjavur MLA, voted at his birthplace, Nallavanniyan Kudikadu village in Ammapettai panchayat union.
In Tiruvarur, polling was conducted for Tiruvarur and Thiruthuraipoondi municipality, Valangaiman and Kodavasal town panchayat and Tiruvarur, Kodavasal, Valangaiman, Kottur and Thiruthuraipoondi panchayat union.
A total poll percentage of 82 per cent was witnessed for the three municipalities, four town panchayats and six panchayat unions here in the district. This entails 75 per cent polled for the three municipalities; 81 per cent for the four town panchayats; 84 per cent polled for the six rural panchayat unions. The break-up percentage of votes polled were as follows: the municipalities of Mayiladuthurai, Sirkazhi and Vedaranyam polled 73 per cent, 77 per cent and 79 per cent respectively; the four town panchayats of Keezhvelur, Thalainayar, Velankanni and Thittacherry polled 78 per cent, 84 per cent, 85 per cent and 73 per cent respectively; and six panchayat unions of Nagapattinam, Thirumarugal, Keezhayur, Keezhvelur, Thalainayar, and Vedaranyam polled 83 per cent; 84 per cent; 85 per cent; 86 per cent, 85 per cent, 82 per cent respectively. Women polled the highest with 85 per cent and men 79 per cent; and percentage of rural votes polled by women was 87 and that of men was 81.
Additionally, booth number 45 of Vazhuvoor also faced a repoll following violation of poll practices on Monday.
A minor glitch of erroneous symbols in two ballot sheets was reported in a booth in Sembodai, following which the sheets were discarded. According to Collector T.Munusamy, the ballot sheets hosted a symbol that was not in the fray and therefore was removed. No other erroneous ballot sheets were suspected.
Phase II polls were conducted in 1026 polling booths under 7,647 booth-level officials. Around 4,61,618 electorate including 2,31,067 women and 2,30,551 men are expected to cast their votes.
Two wards here will face a re-poll on Thursday following mix-up of symbols on the ballot sheets triggering confusion among voters. According to the administration, the elections that were held at a single booth for ward 6 and 7 of Aadhamangalam panchayat for Keezhvelur union witnessed a glitch of combined symbols for the candidates of both the wards. The combined ballot sheets failed to meet the number of candidates that were to be polled in the single booth.
An astonishingly high 88.61 per cent votes were polled in the areas that went to polls on Wednesday. While the rural votes stood at 88.94 per cent, town panchayat areas recorded 89.01 per cent and the Kulithalai municipality registered 83.85 per cent votes, for an aggregate of 88.61 per cent in the second phase.
Brisk, heavy and peaceful polling was reported in the areas that went to the polls on Wednesday. The high voter turn out in the eastern and south eastern parts of the district was almost a repeat of the Assembly elections.
The areas where voting took place on Wednesday included Kulithalai municipality, Kulithalai, Krishnarayapuram, Kadavur and Thogamalai panchayat unions, Marudur, Nangavaram, Krishnarayapuram and Pazhaya Jayamkonda Cholapuram town panchayats of Karur district.
The electorate included 1,41,217 males, 1,40,927females and 28 transgenders. Of them 1,24,620 males, 1,25,391 females and 20 transgenders voted in the elections. Many voters waited in queues to cast their votes even after the mandatory close at 5 p.m. in several polling stations, especially in the interior areas.
In the first phase of the local body polls on Monday, an estimated 82.48 per cent voters had cast their votes in the district.
Keywords: local body polls