T.N. rural local body polls live updates | Peaceful polling in southern districts

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami casting his vote for the local body election at a polling booth in his native village Siluvampalayam near Edappadi town in Salem district in Tamil Nadu on Friday, 27 December 2019.   | Photo Credit: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Polling for the first phase of rural local body elections in 27 districts of Tamil Nadu is underway on Friday. The local body polls are being held in a staggered manner after a delay of over three years.

Areas covered by 156 panchayat unions will go to the polls to elect 260 ward members of district panchayats, 2,546 members of panchayat unions and 37,830 members of panchayats.

The police have made elaborate arrangements for the elections. “Over 48,000 police personnel have been deployed and 14,500 non-police personnel such as ex-servicemen will supplement them to ensure free and fair polling,” a senior police officer said on Thursday. As many as 33,920 police personnel are from taluks, 9,959 from Armed Police and 4,700 from the Tamil Nadu Special Police.

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Here are the district-wise latest updates:

DINDIGUL/THENI

62% polling in Theni, 58.51% in Dindigul, till 3 p.m.

Till 3 p.m. on Friday, a total of 99,707 voters cast their votes in the first phase of local body polls in Theni district, in which election was held for two panchayat unions of Andipatti and Kadamalaikundu-Mayiladumparai. The total polling percentage in the district was 62% till 3 p.m. Andipatti union recorded 64% and Kadamalaikundu-Mayiladumparai recorded 58%, respectively.

In Dindigul district where seven unions went for polls in the first phase, the polling percentage was 58.51% till 3 p.m. and a total of 4,01,983 voters had cast their votes by that time. Batlagundu union recorded the highest percentage at 66.89%, while Dindigul union recorded the lowest polling percentage at 50.61%

Athoor union recorded 50.72%, Natham recorded 59.32%, Shanarpatti recorded 59.31%, Nilakottai recorded 64.78% and Reddiarchatram recorded 63.55%

Till 3 p.m., the number of women votes polled in the district was 2,08,199 outnumbering men votes that stood at 1,93,783, in Dindigul district.

 

DHARMAPURI

Polling halted in Nallampalli union

Polling halted in Mittareddyhalli panchayat booth in Nallampalli Union in Dharmapuri after the union council candidate of PMK contesting in Mango symbol found her symbol missing at 3 pm. Polling had taken place without the candidate's symbol since morning.

DINDIGUL

Father son duo die in accident after casting vote

A father and son were killed in a road accident near Batlagundu on Friday afternoon.

The duo had cast their votes in the first phase of local body polls at their native village Ramanayakkanpatti and were returning in a two-wheeler to Batlagundu, when they crashed against a speeding TNSTC bus.

Both of them came under the wheels of the bus and the father died on the spot while the son died on the way to Theni Government Hospital. The accident occurred on the Batlagundu to Periyakulam road, near Pazhaiya Batlgundu.

The police identified the deceased as P. Thangapandi (60) and his son T.Mohanpandi (29).

A case has been registered in the Batlagundu police station and further investigation is on.

Ramanathapuram/Sivaganga

Brisk polling in two districts

An estimated 55 to 60% voters have cast their votes till 3 pm as the first phase of polling for rural local bodies was peaceful in the two districts.

Polling was peaceful, Ramanathapuram Collector and District Election Officer K Veera Raghava Rao said after inspecting the polling stations. Adequate security has been posted at 113 polling stations, classified as sensitive, he said.

Sivaganga Collector and District Election Officer J Jayakanthan said polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported in the district. After visiting polling stations, he watched webcasting of polling in the sensitive polling stations from the Election Control Room.

Voters in Mayakulam, near Kilakarai in Ramanathapuram district boycotted the polling, taking exception to identifying Pudu Mayakulam village as Arundhathiyar Colony. Officials said the name has been corrected and the voters were being convinced to cast their votes. - D.J. Walter Scott

Perambalur

Election suspended Permathur

Election for ward 8 in Permathur Kudikaadu village in Permathur Panchayat in Veppur union in Perambalur district has been suspended after the  symbol of a contesting candidate was found missing in the ballot paper. 

The defect was noticed in the morning.

The paper had only symbols of two candidates instead of three. The Cot symbol allotted to the candidate Mariyayee was found missing in the ballot paper in booth 69, said police sources.

However, polling for other wards are underway barring ward 8

Tiruvallur

Five arrested for opening the ballot boxes and setting the ballot papers on fire in Paparambakkam in Kadambathur block, Tiruvallur district. Police suspect party rivalry to be the motive. - Vivek Narayanan

 

Cuddalore Collector V. Anbuselvan supevising the webstreaming of sensitive polling booths from the control room in the Collectorate on Friday.

Cuddalore Collector V. Anbuselvan supevising the webstreaming of sensitive polling booths from the control room in the Collectorate on Friday.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

The State Election Commission in Chennai has been monitoring the day's polling with the feeds being provided from the polling station.

Madurai

45.91% polling in Madurai till 1 p.m.

Officials engaged in webstreaming of sensitive polling booths at the control room in the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission in Chennai on Friday.

Officials engaged in webstreaming of sensitive polling booths at the control room in the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission in Chennai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

 

Compared to the morning which saw a slew of enthusiastic citizens coming out in to cast their vote in the rural local body elections, the afternoon, post 1 p.m., was dull and saw few people trickling into booths, here on Friday.

In areas like Chatrapatti, residents said that the hot afternoon would most definitely be a deterrent when it came to voting during noon. S. Gowri from Pallapatti said that many families also utilise the day as a holiday. "Families come together and eat lunch on a day which is considered a holiday. Nothing much gets done in the afternoons in villages anyway," she said.

Superintendent of police N. Manivannan who inspected the both at Madurai East Panchayat Union Elementary school said that barring few minor incidents, there have not been any complaints regarding the conduct of the election. He added that the model code of conduct has not been violated in any area. "There are 2,300 police personnel deployed across the district. Everything is under control," he said.

Earlier in the day, members of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and independent candidates briefly blocked the gates of Othakadai Elementary school where polling is taking place, around 9.50 a.m. They alleged that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) candidate was campaigning within 100 metres, a prohibited zone, of the station.

Madurai District Collector T. G. Vinay who visited the spot said that similar such complaints have been received in district. "Flying squads have been deputed to go on rounds and check unions where around four or five booths are located close by. There are no delays and reports of malpractice," he said.

He added that strict action will be taken against those who campaign within the 100 metre line. Additional police protection has been deployed.

A total of 38,033 voters including 21,701 men and 16, 332 women have voted till 9 a.m. in the first phase of the rural local body elections. This brings the total polling percentage to 7.47 in the six Panchayats unions that are going to polls today.

Of the six Panchayat unions, Alanganallur has recorded the highest polling percentage yet at 12.34 so far. —Sanjana Ganesh

 

Peaceful polling in southern districts

Polling for the first phase of the rural local body elections began on a peaceful note in southern districts of Tamil Nadu on Friday.

Except for Tirunelveli and the newly formed Tenkasi district — where elections will be held later — polling was brisk from 7 a.m., officials said.

But for some minor glitches reported in some stations, largely there was no problem, a senior police officer in Madurai said.

The voters are casting votes in four different colours of ballot papers - white, red, yellow and green to elect their leaders to the panchayats and panchayat union posts.

While villagers in Kambur near Melur in Madurai district had announced boycott of the polls, they had withdrawn it and participated in the polling, an officer in Melur said.

In Alanganallur Madurai too, following a complaint that the symbol of a candidate was missing, the polling was suspended for a while, but subsequently it was set right.

In Theni district, the first phase of poll began on a smooth note that brisk polling was reported, said Collector Pallavi Baldev. "At 9 a.m., the polling was 12 percent," she told The Hindu.

In Ramanathapuram district, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said that they had no issues anywhere till now. "I hope the polling will end on a peaceful note with public and political parties cooperation," he told reporters.

Apart from the Collectors, police officers too were on the move with special mobile teams.

By and large polling stations in the coastal areas of Kanniyakumari and Thoothukudi districts were going on smoothly.

In one station, Melpuram panchayat in Kanniyakumari, voting had to be suspended for an hour as the local officials were unable to set right the fault.

While Reddiarchatram in Dindigul district recorded 1.29 percent votes till 9 a.m, polling in all other stations in southern districts were going on smoothly. — TN bureau

Tiruvallur

Polling yet to pick up in Tiruvallur district

Polling in the first phase of elections for rural local bodies in Tiruvallur district is under way at a slow pace. By 9 a.m, only 6 percent votes was registered. In most places complaints about supporters canvassing for their candidates was raised by voters.

The first phase of the Rural Local Body Elections is taking place in Tiruvallur district today in eight blocks, out of 14 blocks, namely Tiruvallur, Tirutani, Pallipattu, R K Pettai, Tiruvalangadu, Poondi, Kadambathur and Poonamalee.

A total of 13,338 are contesting for 3,919 posts. The Chennai – Tiruvallur High Road, from Red Hills, was dotted with different political party flags and posters of different candidates and symbols.

In most booths, voters who were standing in the queue to cast their vote, complained that supporters of candidates were canvassing for votes. “The police is not chasing them away,” said a voter in Poondi Government High School. In the same school, a man carried an elderly woman voter into the booth and cast the vote on her behalf.

In Pularambakkam, commotion prevailed as the booth, for 900 voters from two wards, was cramped. The police closed the door and windows of the booth with some voters inside.

“I did not cast my vote as I was getting late for work. They did not open the door for over 20 minutes. The district administration should have made better arrangements,” said M. Kumaresan who works with Tangedco.

Meanwhile, Tiruvallur collector Maheshwari Ravikumar and superintendent of police P. Aravindan, inspected a sensitive booth Ikkadu Kandigai. Speaking to reporters, she said that elaborate arrangements had been made for both phases of the election.

“There are a total of 14 counting centres. Basic amenities have been made in the booths. A total of 616 booths sensitive booths have been identified. For the first phase there are total of 303 sensitive booths. Necessary security arrangements have been made. A total of 2400 guards including policemen, homeguards, ex -service men and retired policemen have been deployed,” she said.

She added that web cameras have been installed in 136 places, videographing is being done in 116 booths and in 51 booths micro observers have been appointed. — Vivek Narayanan

Tiruchi

16% polling in Tiruchi district till 9am

A visually impaired voter being assisted by an official to caste his vote at a booth in Manikandam Panchayat, Tiruchi district on Friday.

A visually impaired voter being assisted by an official to caste his vote at a booth in Manikandam Panchayat, Tiruchi district on Friday.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

 

Brisk voter turnout in the first of the two-phase local body elections in rural areas of Tiruchi district was visible a little after 8 a.m.

According to election officials, 16% polling was recorded in Tiruchi district till 9am.

Elderly voters, who were provided with wheelchairs at the polling booths in Sethurapatti and Alandur said they hoped for establishment of a full-time PDS outlet in their ward.

A large number of visually impaired voters excercised their franchise in Gandhi Nagar.

Visually impaired Vijayanirmala is contesting for President in Nagamangalam

Visually impaired Vijayanirmala is contesting for President in Nagamangalam   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

 

S. Vijayanirmala, the first visually impaired woman to contest for the post of president  in the Panchayat, said she was keen on improving sanitation and hygiene in Nagamangalam.

A group of visually impaired voters led by Kuppusamy invited the attention of officials  to the discomfort caused by the new requirement for escorts to submit duly filled in forms.

Shortly after polling got off to a start, District Collector S. Sivarasu told mediapersons that web cameras have been installed in 75 booths and that videotaping of the process was being carried out in 48 booths, in vulnerable areas witnessing first phase of polling. Micro-observers  have been posted in 50 booths, he added. — R.Krishnamoorthy

Voters turned out in large numbers to cast their votes for the local body polls at a polling booth in Angu Chettipalayam near Panruti in Cuddalore district on Friday.

Voters turned out in large numbers to cast their votes for the local body polls at a polling booth in Angu Chettipalayam near Panruti in Cuddalore district on Friday.   | Photo Credit: S.S.Kumar

 

 

Coimbatore

Polling peaceful

Polling though picked up a little late, is by and large peaceful in Coimbatore district. State Election Commission observer for Coimbatore, G. Govindaraj, said in Pollachi, that polling has been peaceful in the district. So far no incidents of violence or code violation has been recorded, he said.

Several senior citizens, including nonagenarians, were seen exercising their franchise.

Rukmani Mantrachalam, a voter in Malumichampatty Panchayat, said use of ballot papers was nostalgic. — Karthik Madhavan

Virudhunagar

Brisk voting in Sivakasi panchayat union

Brisk voting was witnessed in Sivakasi Panchayat Union of Virudhunagar district where election for rural local bodies is under way for five Panchayat unions in the first phase of polling on Friday.

While 15% of the voters in Sivakasi Panchayat Union turned up to vote, a mere 3.60 % voters cast their votes in Rajapalayam Panchayat Union in the first two hours of polling till 9:00 a.m.

The voter turnout in Srivilliputtur union was 7% followed by Watrap union 6.85% and Vembakottai union 5.1 7%.

According to election officials, voting began in all 1,208 booths on time at 7 a.m.

It has been peaceful so far in the district.

Polling agents of a booth in M. Pudupatti said that on an average each voter took two minutes to cast all the four votes meant for Panchayat ward member, Village Panchayat president, Panchayat Union ward member and district Panchayat ward member.

Candidates and their agents were busy seeking votes outside the booths. The visitors from distant hamlets were being ferried in autorickshaws and other vehicles.

A total of 5,128 candidates are in fray for 1,455 posts in the the five Panchayat unions

Already 406 candidates, including 9 forthe post of Panchayat president and 397 for the post of village panchayat ward members have been elected unopposed in the first phase of polling.

Perambalur

About seven per centage polling has been recorded so far in Perambalur district till 10.00 am

Elections are being held in Veppur and Perambalur panchayat unions. Polling has been smooth affair so far said official sources. — R. Rajaram

Dindigul

Dindigul district recorded 5.6% polling till 9 a.m. Batlagundu union recorded the highest polling percentage at 10.99 and Reddiarchatram recorded the lowest polling percentage at 1.29 so far.

Dharmapuri

36% polling in Dharmapuri till 1 pm

Dindigul district registered 35.91% polling till 1 pm on Friday.

Earlier, Elections temporarily halted in two wards of Paapampatty in Paapireddypatty panchayat union in Dharmapuri. Symbols were mixed up in two wards 1 and 5 forcing the officials to stop polling temporarily. — P.V. Srividya

Krishnagiri

Krishnagiri district records 22.32% polling at 11 am

The polling percentage by 11 am in Krishnagiri district was over 22 percent.

Earlier, tension prevailed in Pavakkal Panchayat Union elementary school booth after two male relatives of panchayat union councillor candidate of Uthangarai Union, Lalitha Maharajan, threatened self-immolation over printing of "hand bag" instead of "Manja pai"(yellow cloth bag) on the ballot sheet. Police restrain the men after they doused themselves with kerosene. — P.V. Srividya

Pudukottai

Brisk polling in Pudukottai

Polling for the rural local bodies began on a brisk note in Pudukottai district on Friday.

About 20 per cent votes have been polled in the district till 10 am three hours after elections commenced.

The turn out of women voters has been good  in the district. Elections are being for Pudukottai Gandharvakottai Viralimalai, Annavasal Kundrandarkoil and Karambakudi panchayat unions in the district in the first phase.

Police personnel have been deployed in the areas where elections were being held. The polling has been smooth so far, said official sources. Ballot papers were being used for electing panchayat president panchayat ward member panchayat union councillor and district panchayat councillor. Many voters have brought voter ID to cast their vote. — R. Rajaram

Cuddalore

22% polling till 11 am in Cuddalore

The first phase of elections to rural local bodies in Cuddalore district began on a peaceful note on Friday. Brisk polling was witnessed in several polling booths in Cuddalore and Panruti with people turning out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

About 22.29 percent polling was recording in the district till 11 am.

The initial phase covered the Panchayat unions of Cuddalore, Kammapuram, Kurunjipadi, Mangalur, Mel Bhuvanagiri, Panruti and Parangipettai.

Webcasting is being done in 119 polling stations out of a total of 1,596 polling stations, which has a total electorate of 8,43,812.In addition to 119 vulnerable and critical polling booths, the entire proceedings are being videographed in 129 booths said District Electoral Officer and Cuddalore Collector V. Anbuselvan.

Polling was temporarily stopped at a polling booth in Ward number 4 in Vilangapattu Panchayat after the names of candidates were found missing from the ballot papers.

Elections are being held to elect candidates for 17 district panchayat wards, 164 panchayat union wards, 341 village panchayats and 2,643 village panchayat wards in the first phase.

As many as 6,537 candidates are in the fray in the seven Panchayat unions in Cuddalore district. Over 3,100 police personnel have been deployed to ensure the peaceful conduct of the polls. — Special Correspondent

Namakkal

The polling percentage in Namakkal district on Friday was fair and steady. About 31% voting was recorded in eight panchayat unions in the district. — Vignesh

Ariyalur

Polling has begun on a brisk note in Ariyalur district.

Collector D. Rathna registered her vote at a Panchayat Union School at Valajanagaram. Ariyalur, Thirumanur and Sendurai blocks, where local body polls are held in the first phase, are witnessing brisk polling since 7 am. —

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:20:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-rural-local-body-polls-live-updates-tiruchi-district-witnesses-brisk-voting/article30409054.ece

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