Madurai

Campaign peaceful in Virudhunagar

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Virudhunagar

Campaigning for the first phase of rural local body elections was peaceful without any major complaint or untoward incident in Virudhunagar district and came to an end on Wednesday evening.

“We received complaints over violation of model code of conduct like pasting of wall posters and erection of banners for which action has been initiated,” Collector R. Kannan said.

A murder of a youth, Sathish Kumar, near Vembakottai over a fight on unanimously nominating candidate for the president post of Kottaipatti panchayat rocked the district even as filing of nomination papers was going on.

The polls using ballot papers for the post of district panchayat ward member, panchayat union ward member and panchayat president and panchayat ward member would be held on Friday.

A total of 2,71,035 men and 2,83,621 women and 63 others — totalling 5,54,719 voters would cast their votes in 1,208 polling booths under Rajapalayam, Srivilliputtur, Watrap, Vembakottai and Sivakasi panchayat unions.

In the first phase, the election would be held for 10 posts of district panchayat ward member, 103 posts of panchayat union ward member, 194 posts of panchayat president and 1,554 posts of panchayat ward members. However, 11 posts of panchayat president — one in Srivilliputtur union, two each in Watrap and Sattur and three each in Sivakasi and Vembakottai unions were elected unopposed. Similarly, several posts of village panchayat ward members were also elected unopposed.

Mr. Kannan said that men and materials for the polling stations would be sent to the polling stations from Thursday morning and all of them would reach the polling stations by Thursday night.

While the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is contesting the election without any alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party was contesting in 26 posts of PU ward member and three posts of district panchayat.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is contesting in the majority of the seats contested on political party lines with few seats for Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India and Marulamarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Though no State level leaders took part in the active campaign, veteran Communist leader, R. Nallakannu, canvassed for votes for the alliance in the district.

The AIADMK and the BJP sought votes on the welfare schemes of the respective Governments. Minister for Dairy Development and AIADMK district secretary, K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, who toured around all blocks going for the election, he said that only AIADMK would help the rural masses.

The BJP has promised to bring all the funds under Panchayat Raj Act to the rural local bodies. “We have promised to help the poor people with construction of free houses, toilets with subsidy, healthcare, insurance schemes and crop insurance,” its national executive committee member, SRMN Vetrivel said.

“We distributed pamphlets highlighting the Centre’s achievements,” said party district general secretary, M. Gajendran.

For the DMK-led alliance, former Ministers, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, and Thangam Thennarsu, party MLAs, along with Congress MP, Manickam Tagore and district functionaries of alliance parties made joint campaign.

“We made door-to-door campaign for our party candidates,” said CPI (M) district secretary, K. Arjunan.

The leaders said that the focus of campaign would now shift to other areas where the local bodies would go for polls in second phase on December 30.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 11:33:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/campaign-peaceful-in-virudhunagar/article30396506.ece

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