Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu rural local body polls: In the north, AIADMK edges past DMK

Workers carrying ballot boxes to counting centres in Tiruvallur. B. VELANKANNI Raj

Workers carrying ballot boxes to counting centres in Tiruvallur. B. VELANKANNI Raj   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

Commotion prevails in counting centres

The ruling AIADMK and the Opposition DMK were slugging it out in tight contests in the northern districts of Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvallur.

While the AIADMK was way ahead in terms of panchayat union councillor posts in Cuddalore district, it was locked in a close battle with the DMK in Tiruvannamalai district. In Tiruvallur, it was the DMK that initially took the lead, but the AIADMK fought back to inch ahead of its principal rival by Thursday night.

The counting process witnessed commotion and chaos in various centres across the three districts.

Of a total of 287 panchayat union ward councillor posts in Cuddalore, the AIADMK had won 18 posts, while its arch-rival had won 10, followed by Independents, who won five posts. The DMDK, an ally of the AIADMK, had won one post.

A counting centre in Virudhachalam witnessed commotion when an AIADMK candidate was announced the winner though an Independent had bagged more votes. Also, counting was halted in Sathamangalam.

In Tiruvannamalai, the AIADMK and the DMK had won 13 and 11 seats respectively in panchayat union wards.

Likewise, chaos reigned at the entrance of Shanmuga Industries Government Higher Secondary School, where police denied entry to the official agents of candidates. Election officials cited late arrival as the reason. There were arguments and counter-arguments between the police and the agents. At one point, the local leaders and their supporters tried to scale the gate.

Reinforcements were brought in, and the situation was brought under control. As a result of this, the counting process started late. It took almost two hours for sorting out preliminary issues to commence the counting process at Tiruvannamalai, whereas in places like Cheyyar and Arni, counting was carried out swiftly and with ease.

In Tiruvallur district, the DMK was initially leading in the elections for the panchayat union ward members. But by 8 p.m., the AIADMK was leading in 23 places, and the DMK, in 20 places. At many centres, the election staff were unhappy as breakfast and lunch were not provided on time. Many of them refused to take part in the process.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 9:22:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-rural-local-body-polls-in-the-north-aiadmk-edges-past-dmk/article30464998.ece

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