12 candidates are in the fray; 84,501 out of 1,16, 607 voters exercise their franchise in 172 polling stations
Tuticorin: Polling for the Srivaikuntam Assembly constituency began at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and was by and large peaceful. The constituency recorded a poll percentage of 72.46. Totally 84,501 electors cast their votes.
Brisk polling was witnessed in the morning as the electors stood in long queues to exercise their franchise.
Twelve candidates were in the fray. As many as 172 polling stations were established with the installation of web cameras and laptops for an estimated 1,16, 607 voters. The seat fell vacant following the death of the MLA, D. Selvaraj of the Congress.
It was a four-corner contest here with the candidates from the the Congress, the Communist Party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam fighting for the seat. The contest witnessed a low key profile as there was no stiff competition for the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) led combine, since major parties such as the AIADMK, the MDMK and the PMK kept away from the polls.
Web cameras were positioned in all booths focusing on the voters and the points where the electors cast their votes.
Hour-to-hour updates of the poll proceedings were sent through SMS with the help of booth level officers. By 10 a.m. about 24.6 per cent of polling was recorded and 34.79 per cent of electors turned until 11 a.m.
By noon the polling percentage was 45.85. Later at 1 p.m. 50.09 per cent and at 2 p.m. 56 per cent of the people turned up for voting. At 3 p.m. the percentage increased to 62.83 per cent and by 4 p.m. it touched 68.54 per cent. In booth number 47 M at R.C. Middle School, Naduvakurichi one elector opted for 49 O.
Briefing the media at Srivaikuntam Taluk Office on Tuesday in the backdrop of by- election, Collector and District Election Officer G. Prakash said that the new initiative of Election Commission to instal web cameras in the polling stations with laptops helped them gather accurate minute by minute details and added that the SMS facility with the help of BSNL was a cent per cent success.
The officials concerned were keenly monitoring the proceedings with the help of web cameras with laptops. The poll proceedings recorded live on web cameras would be copied in two DVDs and sent later after the completion of the schedule. As many as 115 cases of violation of model code of conduct were registered, he added.
“There were also no complaints on EVMs,” Mr.Prakash said.
Counting of votes would be taken up on August, 21 amidst tight security, he added.