The Election Commission on Wednesday described the election to the Legislative Assemblies of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry as “incident free and peaceful”.

While the provisional polling percentage for the 30-member Puducherry Assembly was recorded as 83.62 per cent as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, it was 75.21 per cent for the election to the 234-member Assembly in Tamil Nadu, and 74.4 per cent in Kerala, which has the Legislative Assembly strength of 140 members.

As the two-phase election to the 126-member Assam Assembly election has already been completed on April 11 with the overall percentage of voting registered at 76.3, now polling is due only for the 294-member West Bengal Assembly. The poll will be held in six phases and the first phase will start on April 18.

Election Commission officials said during Wednesday’s polling in Pattambi area of Palakkad district of Kerala, a voter in a booth at VCM lower primary school played a mischief by interchanging symbols of the UDF and BJP candidates in the EVMs by pasting stickers. This was noticed later by the polling personnel and a decision on conducting re-poll in that particular polling station will be taken on Thursday, officials said.

Regarding the action taken by the EC to curb money power in Tamil Nadu, they said the Commission believed that the “money power” to lure the voters had been kept under check to a great extent by intensifying vigil. In Tamil Nadu alone while the flying squad of the Commission seized Rs.29.87 crore in cash, the static surveillance team recovered Rs.9.24 crore and the Income-Tax department officials Rs.15.06 crore during the run up to the poll. Overall 521 FIRs were registered in this connection and the cases would be taken to “logical conclusion” through the court of law, the officials said.

During the 2006 general elections to the Assam Assembly the poll percentage recorded was 75.7. It was 84 per cent in Puducherry, 70.84 in Tamil Nadu and 72.38 per cent in Kerala in 2006 poll.

Sources said though polling was over at 5 p.m. in some cities of Tamil Nadu long queues of voters were seen waiting for their turn.

In Kerala as many as 8835 overseas Indians had registered themselves for voting, the first time in the electoral history that they have got a chance to vote. How many of them really voted would be known by Thursday, officials added.

Keywords: Assembly polls