Erode (East) bypoll | Barring minor altercations, by-election peaceful

At one booth, AIADMK agents claimed votes cast for their candidate were going to Congress candidate

Updated - February 28, 2023 03:15 pm IST

Published - February 27, 2023 10:26 pm IST - ERODE

Indelible ink mark is being applied on a voter’s forefinger at a polling station in Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode on February 27, 2023

Indelible ink mark is being applied on a voter’s forefinger at a polling station in Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode on February 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

Except for altercations between the DMK and AIADMK cadre at a few places, bypoll to the Erode (East) Assembly constituency that was necessitated by the death of former Congress MLA E. Thirumahan Everaa last month ended peacefully on Monday. At the end of the poll, the voter turnout was 74.79%. In 2021, the turnout was 66.82%

Election was held at 238 polling stations, including 34 vulnerable booths, at 52 locations in the constituency and 1,206 polling staff were involved in the process. Also, 286 micro-observers and surveillance cameras monitored the poll process. More than 2,100 police and paramilitary personnel were on duty. At vulnerable booths, additional personnel were posted.

A total of 77 candidates were in the fray including E.V.K.S. Elangovan of Congress and K.S. Thennarasu of AIADMK who cast their vote at respective booths. Mock poll was held from 5.30 a.m. to 6.15 a.m. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) at three other booths were replaced.

Congress candidate E.V.K.S. Elangovan casts vote | Video Credit: M. Govarthan

Polling was stopped at booth number 178 on Meenatchi Sundaranar Road after AIADMK agents claimed that the EVM was faulty. They said the votes cast for their candidate went to the Congress candidate. The machine was replaced and polling continued. At Karungalpalayam, electors staged a road roko claiming that they were yet to cast their votes even after waiting for hours.

At Periyanna Street, an altercation broke out when AIADMK cadre claimed that the DMK had confined voters and distributed gift items. At Periyar Nagar, the police had to intervene to pacify the cadres of both the parties who were quarreling while canvassing near a booth.

Paramilitary personnel raised objection to Mr. Thennarasu when he came to a polling station at B.P. Agraharam sporting towel having the colours of party flag. The same happened at a polling station and DMDK candidate S. Anand was allowed to cast his vote after he changed the dress.

At a booth at Rajajipuram, over 200 people were waiting to cast their vote at 6 p.m. They were given tokens and were allowed to cast their votes. All the EVMs and poll materials were sealed and taken to the Government College of Engineering at Chithode where votes will be counted on March 2.

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