Good voter turn out marked the second phase of polling for local body elections held in the district on Wednesday. Held amid tight security, the elections, passed off peacefully.
The keenness of the rural electorate to exercise their franchise was conspicuous during phase-II polls as it was during the first phase of election held a couple of days ago.
The phase- II polls were held for Thuraiyur municipality; 13 town panchayats including Manachanallur, Musiri, Balakrishnampatti, Pullambadi and Thottiyam and eight panchayat unions including Musiri, Thathiengarpet, Uppiliapuram and Thottiyam.
Though there were delays in polling in some booths owing to technical snags in the electronic voting machines, necessary arrangements were carried out to replace the faulty machines to ensure that poll process went on smoothly. As noticed in phase- I, the turn out of women voters across the district in phase- II was impressive.
Polling commenced at the scheduled time with extra police strength deployed at booths classified as sensitive in the district in order to ensure order. At several booths, women voters came out to cast their vote in the early part of the day armed with booth slips and electronic photo identity cards.
Polling which started on a moderate note gradually picked up momentum with the overall poll percentage figure touching 50.77 at 1 p.m.
Police sources said polling commenced an hour behind scheduled time in ward 10 in Poovalur town panchayat as the electronic voting machine developed a technical snag. Similar was the case in one of the booths in Marudur in S.Kannanur town panchayat.
Polling was suspended for over 30 minutes in the afternoon at one of the booths in the Zamindar HSS, Thuraiyur, after the electronic voting machines developed technical problems. Arrangements were done to replace faulty machines with fresh ones.
A group of people of narikuravar colony in Madhurapuri panchayat in Thuraiyur complained that despite possessing electronic photo identity cards that they could not exercise their franchise as they did not have booth slips. However, a section of them later cast their votes after their names were found in supplementary electoral rolls following intervention of revenue officials, sources said.
Police had to use mild force to disperse a group after a candidate was reported to have canvassed in front of a booth in the 17th ward falling under the Thuraiyur municipality. This was objected to by another candidate leading to a wordy quarrel. The sources said M.Venkatesan (45) who had allegedly tried to indulge in bogus voting in a polling booth at Venganathanur panchayat was caught and later handed over to Thuraiyur police.
The Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi, R.Lalitha Lakshmi, said polling went on smoothly without any untoward incidents adding that nowhere in the district was the poll process disrupted.
Keywords: local body polls