Puducherry Assembly polls | Voting picks up pace in 30 constituencies across U.T.

Polling in progress at a booth in Ariankuppam constituency in Puducherry on April 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: SINGARVELOU T.

Polling got under way in 30 constituencies of the Union Territory on April 6 with an estimated 10.04 lakh voters registered to exercise their franchise in electing the 15th Legislative Assembly in Puducherry.

The fight for the 30-seat Assembly (which also has three nominated legislators) is essentially between the Congress-led alliance comprising DMK, Left parties and VCK and the NDA consisting of the AINRC, BJP, AIADMK and PMK.

The 324 candidates in the fray also include nominees of smaller parties such as Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, Naam Tamilar Katchi and Makkal Needhi Maiam apart from several Independents.

The Union Territory has 10,04,507 voters with the demographic gap increasing between men and women electors since the 2016 elections.

There are 5,31,383 women against 4,72,341 men, apart from 116 Third Gender electors and 11,915 PwD (Persons with Disability) voters.

Four hours into polling as of 11 a.m., the overall polling percentage in the U.T. was 20.07. While Puducherry clocked 19.92%, Karaikal registered 20.70%, Mahe 15.46% and Yanam 24.17%.

Former Chief Ministers V. Narayanasamy (Congress), N. Rangasamy (AINRC founder-president) and V. Saminathan (BJP Puducherry president and party candidate in Lawspet), were among the early voters.

While Mr. Narayanasamy cast his vote at the Government Girls’ French High School, Mr. Rangasamy cast his vote at the Government Middle School, Thilaspet in Thattanchavady constituency. Mr. Rangasamy is contesting from Thattanchavady and Yanam constituencies.

Voters from both ends of the age spectrum, first-time voters and senior citizens, stood in line to cast their votes in several polling stations in the city.

At the Pensionnat De Jeunes Filles high school, residents of the Cluny Old Age Home defied age and infirmity to turn up to exercise their right. An 89-year-old was the oldest member in the group. The residents who were being helped to vote by sisters at the home and volunteers at the polling station have never failed to vote in an election.

The polling is set to conclude at 7 p.m. The last hour of polling has been slotted for COVID-19 patients.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:16:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry-assembly/puducherry-assembly-polls-voting-picks-up-pace-in-30-constituencies-across-ut/article34251072.ece

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