Madurai

AIADMK leads in Theni, DMK puts up a fight in Dindigul

The AIADMK and the DMK put up a tough fight in both Theni and Dindigul districts as per the leading positions for the posts of union councillor.

While 288 posts of village ward members and 10 village panchayat president posts were won unopposed in Theni district, most of the remaining posts were taken by independent candidates. In Dindigul district, village ward members and panchayat president posts were won by independent candidates but the posts of union and district councillor had candidates from political parties locked in a tight competition.

The AIADMK, which lost two Assembly seats in Theni district in the bypolls held in May, managed to win 21 out of the declared 45 seats of union councillor as of 8.15 p.m.. The DMK, on the other hand, managed to win 17 seats while DMDK and the Congress won two seats each.

Even the AMMK, led by T.T.V. Dhinakaran, made its entry into the panchayati raj system by winning a seat of union councillor in Andipatti union. The AMMK drew a blank in the recent Lok Sabha Polls but the party can be happy that it has gained foot in village administration.

In Dindigul district, the AIADMK won 18 of the declared 46 seats of union councillors as of 8.15 p.m. while the DMK won in 17 seats. The CPI(M), Congress and the DMDK won a seat each. Eight seats were won by independent candidates.

The counting of postal votes began as early as 7.30 a.m. in both the district, after which the ballot boxes were taken out of the strong room and brought to the sorting room where the boxes were emptied and the ballot papers were sorted as per the colour, after which they were tied in bundles of 50 and sent for final counting. At the counting hall, the papers were counted in batches and wardwise.

In Dindigul and Oddanchatram counting centres, government school teachers who were designated as counting officials staged a walk out as they were not provided lunch till 4 p.m. They complained that there was no drinking water available and no toilet facilities for officials. This led to a brief suspension in counting process in both centres and teachers were engaged in an argument with BDOs who later arranged for lunch.

In Palani and Thoppampatti centres, counting began quite late in the morning as the officials came late and opened the counting hall. Party agents were seen waiting for a long time.

In Natham and Guziliamparai centres, there were minor arguments between counting officials and party agents as the opposition parties claimed discrepancy in the counting, which was settled later.

The officials declared many postal votes invalid as they did not follow the proper procedure of annexing form 17 with the postal ballot. In Oddanchatram union, around 73 out of 75 postal votes for a post of union ward councillor was declared invalid due to this reason.

Elsewhere in Theni district, officials found ballot papers that did not bear proper stamp and declared those votes invalid. The voters unknowingly ripped the symbol on the ballot paper instead of putting a stamp on it.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:07:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/aiadmk-leads-in-theni-dmk-puts-up-a-fight-in-dindigul/article30463803.ece

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