Tamil Nadu

Moderate polling in Nanguneri; Vikravandi betters 2016 turnout

While Nanguneri recorded a moderate voter turnout of 66.35% in Monday’s byelection, Vikravandi posted 84.36% polling, a 3% increase from the 81% it recorded during the 2016 Assembly election.

Only 1,70,624 voters out of an electorate of 2,57,140 exercised their franchise in the Nanguneri byelection, which passed off incident-free. Of those who cast their votes, 80,500 were men, 90,122 were women and two were ‘other’ voters.

When the Assembly election was held in 2016, the backward segment registered a poll percentage of 71.35, with Congress candidate H. Vasanthakumar (74,932 votes) defeating his nearest rival, the AIADMK’s M. Vijayakumar (57,617 votes), by a margin of 17,315 votes.

The byelection in Nanguneri was necessitated by Mr. Vasanthakumar’s election to the Lok Sabha from the Kanniyakumari constituency.

When polling started at 7 a.m., no long queues could be seen in front of a majority of the booths. However, the crowd swelled gradually after 8 a.m. Though the tested and calibrated electronic voting machines used in the bypoll largely did not give any anxious moments to the polling personnel, the EVMs used in booth 91 at Vadukachchimathil became a headache for the officials. Following a technical snag, an EVM in a booth at Vadukachchimathil, catering to 670 voters, was replaced at 8.30 a.m. However, the standby machine too broke down immediately after being switched on. Consequently, the tensed officials had to rush another set of EVMs to the booth, where polling eventually began only at 9.50 a.m. Consequently, 82 voters were waiting in the queue when polls closed at 6 p.m. However, they were given tokens and allowed to vote.

While AIADMK candidate V. Narayanan exuded confidence that he will win the bypoll with a huge margin of over 50,000 votes, Congress candidate ‘Ruby’ R. Manoharan said the poll outcome will be a precursor to the ouster of the AIADMK rule in Tamil Nadu.

Many educated middle and upper-middle class voters in a few pockets of KTC Nagar, the Nanguneri constituency’s ‘urban area’ on the outskirts of Palayamkottai, did not turn up for voting.

Brisk polling was recorded across the 275 polling stations in Vikravandi, with people turning out in large numbers. Serpentine queues were seen at most booths, especially those in the rural areas.

Twelve candidates, including M.R. Muthamizhselvan (AIADMK) and N. Pugazhenthi (DMK), are in the fray. The byelection was necessitated by the death of K. Radhamani of the DMK.

Women in rural areas turned up in large numbers. Polling was delayed for about 40 minutes in Thoravi, Sangeethamangalam and Solaganur as EVMs malfunctioned. It resumed after election officials rectified the problem.

Clash triggers tension

Tension prevailed at a polling station in Kalyanampoondi after a clash broke out between workers of the DMDK and the PMK, both allies of the AIADMK.

The police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 8:10:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/moderate-polling-in-nanguneri-vikravandi-betters-2016-turnout/article29762162.ece

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