Tamil Nadu local body elections: Elector takes away three ballot sheets to house

Residents of Morai panchayat wait to cast their vote in the second phase of local body election on December 30, 2019   | Photo Credit: Vivek Narayanan

Polling in the second and final phase of the rural local body polls in Tamil Nadu began on Monday at 7 a.m.

A total of 158 Panchayat Unions are going to on Monday and security has been beefed up in those polling localities.

About 1.28 crore voters are expected to exercise their democratic right on December 30 to elect 38,916 panchayat members, 2,544 members of panchayat unions and 255 ward members of district panchayats.

The first phase of the election for the rural local bodies was held on December 27 and it saw a polling of 76.19 per cent.

Here are the updates:

Erode | 2.30 pm

Elector takes away three ballot sheets to house

 An elector, Manickam (65), attached to Panchayat Union Middle School polling station at Oricheri Pudur in Bhavani Panchayat Union took away three ballot sheets to his house and after being questioned at house, he returns to the polling station with the sheets during the second phase of local body election here on Monday.

After stamping his vote in one ballot paper, he dropped it in the ballot box and left home with other three ballot sheets.

Ramanathapuram | 12.15 p.m.

Peaceful polling in Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga

The second phase of polling in the elections to rural local bodies in the two districts on a peaceful note as an estimated 15 20% of voters exercised their franchise till 11 a.m.

Ramanathapuram Collector and District Election Officer K. Veera Raghava Rao who inspected the polling at a polling station at Ariyanendal village panchayat, said polling was going on smoothly. A total of 4.33 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes. Rural local bodies in six unions — Paramakudi, Bogalur, Nainarkoil, Mudukulathur, Kamuthi and Kadaladi were covered in the second phase, he said.

Except at Pandappanendal panchayat in Nainarkoil block, where voters were staying back from voting, protesting against delimitation of polling stations, polling was smooth. More than 2,000 police personnel and 75 mobile teams have been deployed on security, he said.

Erode | 12 noon

Villagers in Erode ward boycott election

People from Andikulam village on Monday, December 30, 2019.

People from Andikulam village on Monday, December 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: M. Govarthan

 

Opposing the move to establish common effluent treatment plant near their area, voters in Kadayampatti Colony in Andikulam Village in Bhavani Block boycotted the local body elections and staged a protest in their village in Erode district in Tamil Nadu on Monday.

Polur | 11.20 am

Delay in polling in Tiruvannamalai

Voters at Athimur booth, Polur block, Tiruvannamalai district on Monday, December 30, 2019.

Voters at Athimur booth, Polur block, Tiruvannamalai district on Monday, December 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

 

Voters in Athimur, Tindivanam Panchayat in Polur block raised apprehensions over inordinate delay in poll process as two wards 3 and 8 were grouped in polling booth.

Officials were tight lipped on this issue and they pleaded helplessness.

Thanjavur | 10.50 am

Confusion over order of names in ballots

Tension prevailed for some time in the morning at a polling booth in Okkanadu Kizhayur Panchayat in Orathanadu Panchayat Union on Monday as the DMK party booth agents raised suspicions of foul play in printing of ballot paper and the booth poster.

According to official sources, preliminary reports received by the senior officials here had indicated that the position in which DMK symbol printed on the ballot paper and in the booth ballot poster pasted at the entrance of the booth did not match.

Senior officials in charge of the election process in Orathanadu block had been directed to find out what exactly the problem was and issue suitable directions to the polling staff after consulting the district-level authorities.

Polling which was held up for a brief period at the booth commenced after the officials clarified that the candidate names on the ballot paper had been printed in Tamil alphabetical order and this rule was not followed in the poster.

Tiruvallur | 10.40 am

Confusion prevails during second phase polls in Tiruvallur

 The second phase of the Rural Local Body polls got under way in Tiruvallur on Monday. Till 9 a.m   9.94 percent voting was registered.

"The voters' list of ward 8 (Kammavarpalayam) and ward 9 (Akarambedu) got mixed up. Due to this voters could not cast their votes," said a police source.

Around 9.30 a.m the Thasildar and other officials offered to ferry the villagers to ths respective voting booth and voting resumed after that, added the source.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri casts his vote at a polling booth in Keerapalayam in Cuddalore district on Monday.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri casts his vote at a polling booth in Keerapalayam in Cuddalore district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

 

Meanwhile voters in Vengal government high school were angry over the slow  voting process.

In Azhinjivakkam Panchayat in Cholavaram block police sub-inspector D Rajamanickam, from Kancheepuram Taluk police station, who was posted on poll duty deputed a Panchayat staff to direct voters not to park their vehicles near the polling booth.

Some voters stressed the need to have CCTV cameras in all booths to curb malpractices.

Madurai | 10.20 am

Polling halted at a booth in Iyapatti

Polling at Sedapatti union's Iyampatti booth was halted for 30 minutes after it was discovered that the ink in ballot papers leaked onto the other papers during the second phase of the rural local body polls, here on Monday.

Speaking to the press at Thanakkankulam Panchayat union school, District Collector T. G. Vinay said that new books have been provided to the booth to ensure that such incidents do not take place. He said that the stamping of the distinguished seal must be ensured so that votes can be counted accurately.

He added that brisk polling across the seven unions going for polls including Usilampatti, Chellampatti, Sedapatti, T. Kallupatti, Kallikudi, Tirumangalam and Tirupparankundram were observed.

Tiruchi | 10.00 am

 

Voters cast their vote in one of the booth in Rasampalayam village, Manachanallur Block in Tiruchi district on December 30, 2019

Voters cast their vote in one of the booth in Rasampalayam village, Manachanallur Block in Tiruchi district on December 30, 2019   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

 

The second phase of polling for rural local bodies began in the district on Monday. While the booths in Bikshandarkovil and Rasampalayam saw lengthy queues, the turnout appeared moderate in Ayyampalayam and Thathampalayam.

After observing the poll process at Bikshandarkovil booth, District Collector S. Sivarasu said that a total of 702253 voters were expected to turn up at 1,337 booths. Web cameras have been installed at 70 locations and micro observers posted at 70 other booths. Video-recording was being carried out at 64 booths and web-streaming in 59 booths identified as vulnerable.

In all, 105 booths have been identified as vulnerable. Among the rest of the vulnerable booths, poll proceedings in 38 booths and micro-observers posted in 18 booths.

Booths with more than 700  voters have been provided with one additional poll personnel to make sure there is no delay in the voting process, the Collector said.

Theni, Dindigul | 9.45 am

 

Voters waiting for their turn to cast their votes at a polling booth at Vadamadurai in Coimbatore on Monday December 30, 2019.

Voters waiting for their turn to cast their votes at a polling booth at Vadamadurai in Coimbatore on Monday December 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

 

In Theni district, Cumbum, Periyakulam, Theni, Bodinayakkanur, Chinnamanur and Uthamapalayam panchayat unions are facing elections.

Seven panchayat unions in Dindigul district saw brisk polling in the morning during the second phase of local body elections on Monday. Palani, Kodaikanal, Oddanchatram, Thoppampatti, Vedasanur, Gujiliamparai and Vadamadurai are the seven panchayat unions going to polls in the second phase.

A slew of enthusiastic voters came out to cast their vote as early as 7 a.m.

However, in Kavunji village in upper Kodaikanal hills, people hoisted black flags in their houses and boycotted the elections. Only three votes were polled in the village till 9 a.m.

In the polling booth at Sivagiripatti in Palani panchayat union, the polling was delayed by one hour due to the delay in breaking the sealed ballot box.

 

Coimbatore | 9.40 am

 

80-year-old P. Senniammal shows her inked finger after casting her vote at a polling booth at Vadamadurai in Coimbatore on Monday December 30, 2019.

80-year-old P. Senniammal shows her inked finger after casting her vote at a polling booth at Vadamadurai in Coimbatore on Monday December 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

 

Sulur, Sulthanpet, Annur, S.S. Kulam, Periyanaickenpalayam, Karamadai and Thondamuthur are the seven Panchayat Unions going to polls in the second phase. Election officials said that polling has been smooth and no major complaints have been received as of 9 a.m.

In Periyanaickenpalayam Panchayat Union, P. Senniammal, a 90-year-old woman, cast her vote at the polling station in Kurudampalayam Village Panchayat. "I have been voting since I was a major," she said before entering the polling booth.

In another polling station at Naickenpalayam Village Panchayat, 25e-year-old R. Gokilamani said that this is her first local body election. "I found the electronic voting machines easier," she said, adding that she was confused about voting using ballot papers.

Another first-time voter, M. Vagsala Sree, 21, said that she came for voting only because of her parents' compulsion. "I'm not interested in politics," she quipped.

 

Thoothukudi | 9.30 am

176 ‘sensitive’ booths in Thoothukudi

Voters waiting in front of the polling booth to cast their votes at Aaththikulam in Thoothukudi district on Monday.

Voters waiting in front of the polling booth to cast their votes at Aaththikulam in Thoothukudi district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Polling for 1,275 posts in five panchayat unions of the district commenced smoothly in the second phase of the poll on Monday morning. After the first phase of the polling was conducted on last Friday for 1,126 posts in 7 panchayat unions in the district, in which 69.98% voters exercised their franchise, over 4 lakh electorate are expected to cast theirs votes in 994 booths in the second phase to decide the electoral fortunes of 3,561 candidates in fray.

As 176 booths have been identified as 'sensitive', micro observers additional police personal have been deployed there besides webcasting the polling. Over 3,000 police personnel, 50 Rapid Action Teams and 16 patrol teams have been deployed. Thirteen check-posts have been erected to curb the movement of anti-social elements, Superintendent of Police Arun Balagoaplan said.

Madurai | 9.15 am

Brisk polling in Madurai

A CCTV surveillance camera installed by election commission at polling booth premises in N.K. Kuppaiyan Rathinamani middle school at Nilaiyur in Madurai district on Monday.

A CCTV surveillance camera installed by election commission at polling booth premises in N.K. Kuppaiyan Rathinamani middle school at Nilaiyur in Madurai district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: S. James

 

Seven Panchayat unions in Madurai district saw brisk polling in the morning during the second phase of the rural local body elections on Monday morning. However, in some polling stations, delays were experienced.

At a polling station in Thanakkankulam, the lack of proper lighting facilities meant that voters had to use the lights from mobile phones of polling officers to ensure that they could cast their votes.

At NGO colony, voters did not receive booth slips- causing a delay in polling. At Nilayur Panchayat Union Primary school, polling started 20 minutes late because the ballot box was said to be open. Officials stopped the polling process to set the box right and then restarted the process.

Virudhungar | 9.15 am

Six Panchayat unions go to polls in Virudhunagar

Polling in six panchayat unions -- Aruppukottai, Virudhunagar, Kariyapatti, Tiruchuli, Narikudi and Sattur --under second phase of rural local body elections began on a smooth note in Virudhunagar district on Monday.

The State Election Commission on Sunday night cancelled polls for six posts of ward members of Villipathiri village panchayat under Aruppukottai panchayat union after officials found that allocation of symbols to the candidates of wards 1,3,5,6,7 and 8 was not done as per rules.

However, the voters of these wards would cast their votes for the remaining posts of village president, Panchayat Union ward number and district Panchayat ward number.

Polling began with a delay of 45 minutes at a booth in Nallichathiram after someone raked up doubt over the ballot paper.  However, the polling began after officials clarified the doubts.

The six panchayat unions have 10 posts of district panchayat ward member, 97 panchayat union ward members, 242 panchayat presidents and 1,155 panchayat ward members. However, candidates for 663 posts of panchayat ward member and 14 panchayat president have been elected unopposed.

A total of 2.39 lakh men, 2.49 lakh women and 31 others would cast their votes to decide the political destiny of 4,397 candidates in fray for 1,504 posts. A total of 9,171 polling personnel have been deployed at 1,114 polling stations.   Among them, 207 polling stations have been identified as sensitive and hyper-sensitive. The  officials have installed web cameras in 77 polling booths, appointed micro-observers in 64 booths and arranged for videographying in 66 booths.

Tiruvannamalai | 8.50 am

 

Second phase of polling for the local bodies election at Arani block,Tiruvannamalai district on Monday,December 30,2019

Second phase of polling for the local bodies election at Arani block,Tiruvannamalai district on Monday,December 30,2019   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

 

Polur, Kalasapakkam, Chetpet, Chengam, Pudhupalayam, Jawadhu Hills, Vandavasi, Arni, and West Arni are the blocks where 761951 voters are eligible to vote.

There are 75 contestants fighting for 17 seats of district panchayat wards in this second phase.

At a booth in Kongrampattu village in West Arni Panchayat Union large number of ' Narikuravas' (gypsies) turned up to exercise their franchise. Elaborate arrangements including police security arranged in all the polling booths. Sensitive and vulnerable booths are being monitored by designated officers. Web screening has been arranged at Tiruvannamalai Collectorate to monitor the election process.

 

Pudukottai | 8.50 am

 

Elections under Phase II for local body commenced in the seven panchayat unions on Monday. The exercise started amid elaborate security measures put in place at the polling stations and at vantage areas.

As many as 5 754 candidates are contesting for a total number of 2468 posts. The voter strength is 5 78 044  in the seven panchayat unions : Aranthangi , Arimalam, Avudaiyarkoil, Ponnamaravathy , Manamelkudi , Tirumayam and Tiruvarankulam.

 

Cuddalore | 8.45 am

 

Voters waiting in a queue to exercise their franchise at a polling station in Keerapalayam in Cuddalore district on December 30, 2019

Voters waiting in a queue to exercise their franchise at a polling station in Keerapalayam in Cuddalore district on December 30, 2019   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

 

Polling was brisk with voters especially women waiting in long queues in front of polling booths to exercise their franchise.

A total of 6,01,163 voters are expected to cast their votes in the second phase of elections in the Panchayat unions of Kattumamnarkovil, Virudhachalam, Kumaratchi, Keerapalayam, Annagramam, Nallur and Srimushnam.

Of the total 1,292 polling stations, as many as 250 polling booths had been identified as vulnerable and critical.

 

Karur | 7.30 am

 

In Karur district, large queues were seen in several polling stations in Kulithalai, Krishnayapuram, Thogamalai and Kadavur blocks. As many as 2,78, 168 will vote in the second phase. A total of 3799 personnel are involved in the polling process.

 

Ariyalur | 7.30 am

 

Polling started in Ariyalur at 7 a.m. A total of 495 booths have been set up in Jayankondam, T. Palur and Andimadam Panchayat Union, where polling is being held.

 

Tiruppur

 

The second phase of the local body elections are being held for six panchayat unions in Tiruppur district. 158 out of the 920 polling stations were found to be sensitive.

According to a press release, District Collector and District Election Officer K. Vijayakarthikeyan along with District Election Observer R. Gajalakshmi chaired a meeting at the Collectorate on Saturday with the micro-observers appointed to monitor the sensitive polling stations. The micro-observers will be monitoring 58 of the sensitive polling booths. Among the rest, 47 polling stations will be videographed and 53 will be monitored using online streaming.

Salem, Namakkal

 

According to officials, in Salem, 1,173 polling stations have been set up and 6,68,779 voters are there in these panchayat unions. About 9,500 officials have been deployed for election duty.

In Namakkal, the elections will be held in seven unions and 47 candidates will contest for eight district panchayat ward member positions, 440 candidates for 86 panchayat union ward member seats, 604 candidates for 150 village panchayat president posts and 2,488 candidates for 918 village panchayat ward member posts.

 

Repolling in a single booth in Kottampatti

Collector T. G. Vinay announced that repolling will take place for a single booth in Kottampatti union’s Sennagarampatti village polling station along with the second phase on Monday.

During the first phase on Friday, polling personnel provided ballot paper to voters of ward 8 and 9 at Sennagarampatti even though the village panchayat ward member had won the election unopposed.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 9:04:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rural-local-body-elections-voting-begins-for-second-phase/article30430215.ece

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