Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has won overwhelmingly in the by-elections held on Thursday to the Koothapar Town Panchayat by emerging victorious in 12 of the 18 wards.

The party's candidates in wards 5, 11 and 14 were chosen unopposed. Of the remaining wards, three were won by independents, and one each by candidates belonging to the Congress, CPI (M) and the Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam. Counting of votes was undertaken today at the Urumu Dhanalakshmi College.

Though 62 per cent polling was recorded, there was just 30 per cent turnout in the sixth ward. Only 76 voters exercised their franchise in the ward that falls in BHEL Township. The democratic exercise was undertaken for the first time in the local body since Independence. So far, the practice was to choose the ward members unanimously.

The ward-wise winners and the votes they polled were (from ward one to 18 in sequence): M. Rajeswari of DMK (137), P. Annakili, Independent (152), K. Marudairaj of DMK (259), A. Sadasivam of Congress (118) T. Mohanambal of DMK (unopposed), G. Balasubramanian, Independent (76), M. Malligadevi of DMK (124), K. Rajasekar of DMK (150), N. Vasuki of DMK (134), K.M. Mayil Periyasami of DMK (179), M. Chitra of DMK (unopposed), M. Sakthivel of DMK (114) K. Shanmugam, Independent (263), T. Natarajan of DMK (unopposed), T. Mocham of DMK (200), S. Mamundi of DMK (286), A. Navaneethan of DMDK (96) and R. Sumatra of CPI-M (123). Seven among the victorious ward members are women.