Tamil Nadu

No surprises from 22 seats this election

Twenty-two Assembly constituencies, where bypolls were held two years ago, have stuck to the norm of witnessing a lower percentage of votes polled in a general election (the April 6 Assembly poll) than in a byelection.

In the last 15 years, the turnout in byelections has been exceptionally high. To cite a few examples, Pennagaram in Dharmapuri district recorded 84.9% polling in March 2010 and Yercaud in Salem district recorded 89.1% in December 2013.

Reasons cited

Several factors were cited for the trend, including intense political mobilisation by the principal parties of the State.

This time, the presence of former Higher Education Minister and AMMK nominee P. Palaniappan in Pappireddipatti of Dharmapuri district and BJP vice-president K. Annamalai in Aravakurichi of Karur was not sufficient to make the two constituencies exceptions to the rule, though in both places, the turnout was a little over 80% — 82.15% in the former and 81.92% in the latter.

In 2019, when the byelections were held along with the Lok Sabha poll, the turnout was at least two percentage points higher than it was this time, with 84.9% in Pappireddipatti and 83.97% in Aravakurichi.

The contestants in Ambur said that since the byelection to the constituency took place two years ago along with the Lok Sabha poll, it had provided an opportunity to many who were working elsewhere to return to their areas of origin. But this year’s election being an Assembly poll, not many could make it. The women’s turnout this time was impressive, they added.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 1:41:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-surprises-from-22-seats-this-election/article34306487.ece

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