Passes were issued to three persons for strong room security duty on Monday morning, following a request by the Pattali Makkal Katchi, even as the party alleged that there was delay in the issuance of passes.

Dinesh, Personal Assistant to Collector (Elections), denied the allegations and said that the authorities received the request from PMK on Saturday evening and it was sent to the police for checking if any of those proposed by the party had criminal antecedents.

The Police Department had found that out of the 11 agents proposed by the party, 10 had clean records.

In accordance with the directions of the Election Commission of India, the request was considered by the District Election Officer and the passes issued.

It is the desire of the parties to appoint agents to guard the strong room. Other than PMK, the Congress candidate also approached the District Election Office for passes, he said. No other parties or independent candidates approached the authorities for passes, Mr. Dinesh said. He said that over 220 vehicle passes were issued to political parties for campaigning before the elections. All the requests were scrutinised and passes issued within four hours.

However, party sources said that State president of Pattali Makkal Katchi G.K. Mani spent the whole night at the counting centre owing to the delay in issuance of passes to agents. Mr. Mani told The Hindu on Wednesday that he did not want to precipitate the matter. He said he had been at the counting centre from 11 p.m. on Saturday to 6.30 a.m. on Sunday.

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