DMK leads the race in Pudukottai

Polling officials displaying the votes to election agents at the counting centre in Viralimalai in Pudukottai district on Thursday.

Polling officials displaying the votes to election agents at the counting centre in Viralimalai in Pudukottai district on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was way ahead of its rival AIADMK in the district by winning various panchayat union wards and establishing a clear lead in district panchayat wards in the recently concluded local body polls when the counting of votes were taken up on Thursday.

The results for different panchayat union wards began to trickle in very slowly due to the use of ballot papers for the local body polls unlike the electronic voting machines deployed for Assembly and parliamentary elections.

Out of the total number of 225 panchayat union wards in the district, the DMK had won in 45 wards followed by AIADMK which emerged victorious in 26 wards when the results were declared at around 9 p.m. The Congress won in four wards with two independents emerging winners in equal number of wards.

The Pudukottai district accounts for 13 panchayat unions: Annavasal, Arimalam, Kundrandarkoil, Ponnamaravathy, Pudukottai, Thirumayam, Viralimalai, Aranthangi, Avudaiyarkoil, Gandarvakottai, Karambakudi, Manamelkudi and Thiruvarankulam. Aranthangi panchayat union has a maximum number of 26 wards followed closely by Thiruvarankulam union with 25 wards.

The DMK was in the forefront in the district panchayat wards with the party candidates overtaking their AIADMK rivals in seven out of the total 22 wards. The AIADMK was leading in four wards, while the DMK’s ally Congress led in two wards when the leading positions were announced officially in the night.

The huge exercise of counting of votes was taken up in the morning amid heavy security arrangements put in place inside the counting centres and its vicinity. The ballot boxes which were kept inside the strongrooms inside the 14 counting centres after the conclusion of the elections were brought one after the other to the designated rooms.

The ballot papers in different colours for the posts of village panchayat president, village panchayat ward member, panchayat union ward member and district panchayat ward member were sorted out at first by the polling officials once the boxes were brought in.

Delay in the counting of votes led to some tense moments at Thiruvarankulam where some contesting candidates and their elections agents resorted to a road roko along the Pudukottai – Alangudi road in the morning warranting police intervention.

The actual counting of votes commenced two hours late at the centre at Viralaimalai as

well as in the remaining centres in the district too. The postal votes were at first taken up for counting followed by ballot papers after being sorted out. The polling officials displayed the ballot papers to the election agents of the respective candidates who were present inside the rooms while counting. Unlike electronic voting machines, the physical counting of votes polled through ballot papers took a very long time for the initial results to emerge.

A heavy posse of police personnel was deployed inside the counting centres and outside. Barricades were placed at different places at Viralimalai to prevent entry of general public towards the counting centre in that town. Nevertheless, public gathered in large numbers a

few metres away from the counting centre to hear the results.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:24:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/dmk-leads-the-race-in-pudukottai/article30463961.ece

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