Police maintain tight vigil to prevent any untoward incidents

With the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate continuing to remain in the lead from the first round in the Yercaud Assembly by-election, cadre were in a jubilant mood, burst crackers, distributed sweets and hugged each other with a few dancing to the tunes of MGR starrers here on Sunday. An AIADMK nominee is being returned to the Assembly for the seventh time from the Reserved seat.

As soon as the party’s candidate P. Saroja’s comfortable lead was established in a two-cornered contest, a large number of cadre present near the counting centre on Yercaud Main Road congratulated each other and began the celebration. A thunderous uproar by cadre welcomed senior party leaders.

Senior leaders exchanged greetings with the cadre and joined them in greeting the public. Women attributed the success to the welfare schemes targeted at the downtrodden and attributed the entire success to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. But the situation was completely different in the DMK camp as the cadre were not seen in the counting area and the party offices at various places wore a deserted look. “Thanks to the whirlwind campaign by our party treasurer and efforts by functionaries and cadre, we were able to secure more than 60,000 votes,” a cadre said.

The road leading to the counting centre near the Salem Central Prison was closed as the police erected barricades and allowed only those with passes to enter the centre. Police maintained a tight vigil to prevent any untoward incidents.

Minor hiccups

While the process of counting votes was generally peaceful, a couple of incidents forced suspension of counting briefly. The process was suspended for close to half-an-hour after DMK agents raised objection as the counting officials completed the second round of counting, before announcing the result of the first round.

The agents of the candidates were upset over the alleged poor arrangements.

Saroja thanks CM

The newly-elected MLA thanked Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for announcing her as the candidate. She was addressing newsmen at the counting centre. “The victory is her (CM’s) effort and not mine. I also thank the voters,” she said and reiterated that she will complete the unfulfilled works that were left behind by her husband and former MLA C. Perumal.

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