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Polling brisk in Pondy rural areas

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CASTING HIS VOTE: Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy at a polling booth in Thattanchavadi on Tuesday.
CASTING HIS VOTE: Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy at a polling booth in Thattanchavadi on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

Police were deployed in strength in most of the areas

Pondicherry: Although polling began on a dull note, it picked up subsequently and it was brisker in rural areas than urban pockets. The second phase of civic election on Tuesday covered Pondicherry and Oulgaret Municipalities and village commune panchayat in Pondicherry.

State Election Commissioner R. Narayana and District Election officer G. Theva Needhi Dhas told The Hindu that the polling picked up as the day advanced and around 11 a.m. it was around 25 per cent.

Mr. Theva Needhi Dhas told newsmen at the Media Centre that the second phase recorded 80.97 per cent polling. The break up was Pondicherry: 78.85 per cent, Oulgaret: 75.17 per cent and Villianoor commune panchayat: 88.89 per cent, as per final estimate of polling. The polling was incident-free, he said.

The Additional Senior Superintendent of Police, B. Srikanth who was also present at press conference said timely intervention by police in some areas where two groups of political parties were about to come to blows prevented outbreak of any major incident.

He said the police had received complaints over phone about the violation of model code of conduct by some persons or groups.

Mr Dhas said counting of votes would be taken up on July 3 simultaneously in seven centres in and around Pondicherry in respect of the votes polled in Pondicherry region as a whole comprising two municipalities and five commune panchayats and the village panchayats under their purview.

The third and final phase of poll covering the remaining four commune panchayats of Ariankuppam, Bahoor, Mannadipet and Nettapakkam would be held on July 1.

The first phase of poll covering Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam regions and the five commune panchayats in Karaikal was held on June 24.

A section of voters residing in Motilal Nagar in Oulgaret municipal limits in Pondicherry boycotted the election. A spokesman of the Welfare Association of Residents of Motilal Nagar told newsmen that it was indeed amusing to see that residents living in first three streets in the colony were attached to Arumpathapuram ward, while those in the other two streets were retained as voters of Oulgaret ward.

Detailed representations were already made to election authorities but to no avail.

Police were deployed in strength in most of the areas. Presiding officers in some of the polling stations in a semi-urban area said voters turned up exactly at 7 a.m. at booths.

Vast difference

A 75 year old N. Subramanian said he had voted in the election that was held 38 years ago and could see a vast difference now from the point of number of votes he had to exercise now.

The voter who was returning from a booth in Ariyur falling in the Villianoor commune panchayat, said he had to cast three votes now, while in 1968 he remembered to have cast only one vote (for the election of `Membre' as it was called in French) for the panchayat.

Another voter Rangasamy and is contesting the village panchayat president poll in Villianoor said he had exercised the vote on the last occasion and could see a big difference from the point of votes he had to cast now.

There is a triangular contest for the Pondicherry municipal council chairperson's post, involving DMK, AIADMK and the PMC. The Oulgaret municipal council chairman poll witnesses a seven- cornered contest although the main tussle is between the Congress, the AIADMK and the PMC.

Former Health Minister V. Pethaperumal is contesting as an Independent.


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