Tamil Nadu

Presidential election: 197 MLAs, 15 MPs from State cast their vote in Chennai

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi casting his vote for the election of the President at St. George Fort in Chennai on Thursday. PTI Photo (PTI7_19_2012_000075B)

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi casting his vote for the election of the President at St. George Fort in Chennai on Thursday. PTI Photo (PTI7_19_2012_000075B)  

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Polling for the Presidential election in Chennai was over in about three and a half hours as 197 Members of the Legislative Assembly and 15 Members of Parliament cast their vote.

Those belonging to the Desiya Munnetra Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and Communist Party of India (CPI), totalling 37 MLAs, abstained from voting, in line with the decision taken by their parties.

Immediately after 10 a.m., when the polling commenced, Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Jayalalithaa was the first to exercise her franchise at the Assembly’s Committee Room at Fort St. George, the designated polling station. Several of her ministerial and party colleagues followed suit. All her party MPs, including M. Thambidurai and V. Maitreyan, cast their vote. K. A. Sengottaiyan, who was dropped from the Cabinet on Wednesday, was also present.

Minutes after the Chief Minister left the Fort at about 11-55 a.m for Kodanad in The Nilgiris, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M. Karunanidhi arrived there to cast his vote.

All his party members, including floor leader M.K. Stalin, who came at about 9-30 a.m., waited for his arrival.

Apart from the 14 AIADMK MPs, DMK MP D. Venugopal of Tiruvannamalai constituency chose Chennai to cast the vote. Election authorities remained at the polling station till 5 p.m., the scheduled time for closing of polling.

Among those who voted were A. Soundararajan (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and M.H. Jawahirullah (Manithaneya Makkal Katchi). Government Whip in the Assembly P. Mohan and Congress floor leader K. Gopinath (Hosur) were the election agents for P.A. Sangma and Pranab Mukherjee, the two contestants.

Legislative Assembly Secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen, also Assistant Returning Officer, along with his deputy, will take the box of polled ballots to New Delhi on Friday and hand it over to the Returning Officer, according to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar.

Reporters of the print and electronic media, despite being issued authority letters to enter the polling station, were not allowed to the station after 10 a.m. Though the authority letters, issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) only stated that photography or videography would be “strictly prohibited” inside the voting compartment “not to violate secrecy of ballot,” the election authorities did not allow reporters too. Mr. Praveen Kumar explained that the reporters were not allowed to avoid “commotion” especially at the time of voting by VVIPs. But, there was no restriction on them seeing the polling station before 10 a.m.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 1:50:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/presidential-election-197-mlas-15-mps-from-state-cast-their-vote-in-chennai/article3658779.ece

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