Candidate enters booth wearing a towel with party colours, sparking tension

The re-poll at a booth each in the Salem and Namakkal Lok Sabha constituencies passed off peacefully on Saturday. The booth in Namakkal recorded 84 per cent polling (of a total electorate of 897) and the one in Salem registered 76 per cent (of the total voters of 746).

The re-poll was ordered after the Electronic Voting Machines developed a snag as polling came to a close on April 24.

At booth no. 213 in the Salem Municipal Corporation Elementary School at Ponnammapet, polling saw a drop of six voters (from 579 on April 24 to 573).

But, in Namakkal, there was an increase by 31 voters at booth no. 37 at the Panchayat Union Elementary School at Kottapalayam in the Tiruchengode Assembly segment. Against 728 voters who turned up on April 24, 759 voted on Saturday.

Polling began 40 minutes late at the Salem booth as there was confusion in the distribution of the electoral rolls to booth agents. The delay upset voters who stood in queue from 6 a.m.

Later, tension prevailed as AIADMK candidate V. Pannerselvam entered the booth wearing a towel with the party colours. DMK candidate S. Umarani brought the issue to the notice of General Observer Ajay Yadav, who rushed to the booth.

In Namakkal, candidates S. Gandhiselvan of the DMK, P.R. Sundaram of the AIADMK, G.R. Subramaniam of the Congress, S.K. Vel of the DMDK and T.S. Chellakumarasamy of the Aam Aadmi Party came to the booth when polling was in progress.