Around 80 per cent of the 1.92 crore electors on Wednesday cast their votes in the second phase of local body elections. Polling went off without any major violence.
In the second phase, 65 municipalities, 270 town panchayats and 194 panchayat unions were covered. Elections to the posts of about 30,450 village panchayat ward members, 5,900 village panchayat presidents, 3,160 panchayat union ward members and 320 district panchayat ward members were also held.
Among those districts which crossed the 80 per cent mark were Tiruchi – 83.5 per cent; Perambalur – 82.5 per cent; Dindigul – 81 per cent and Cuddalore – 80 per cent. Eighty-three town panchayats and 37 panchayat unions in the western districts registered polling in the range of 81 to 84 per cent.
In the first phase held on Monday, about 77 per cent of eligible voters exercised their franchise.
In Ramanathapuram district where a Dalit boy was murdered in early September, about 600 voters of Pachery village, from where the boy hailed, boycotted the elections as they demanded probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Paramakudi firing. The village formed part of Mandalam Manickam village panchayat.
In Tirunelveli, one person was stabbed in a scuffle at Mottaiyanur near Alangulam. Kandasamy, candidate of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in a ward of Palani municipality, was injured in an attack.
In Krishnagiri district where a booth in Chengazhaneerpatti was said to have been rigged by members of the ruling AIADMK, the authorities ordered repoll, which would be held on Thursday. In a ward of Thuraiyur municipality of Tiruchi district, the police had to use to mild force to disperse a group after a candidate was reported to have canvassed in front of a booth which was objected to by a rival candidate.
In the village panchayats of Pappapatti, Keeripatti and Nattarmangalam of Madurai district which had eluded till 2006 the conduct of proper elections owing to opposition of certain sections of residents to the posts of presidents being reserved for Scheduled Castes, the polling was peaceful.
In the same district, Dalit residents of Gramapatti village exercised their franchise for the first time in a local body election.