Tamil Nadu

Violence mars polls to panchayat union posts

Venkatesan, DSP, Aruppukottai, who was injured on Saturday.

Venkatesan, DSP, Aruppukottai, who was injured on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: ma12dsp_Venkatesan_injured

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Two persons admitted to Devakottai government hospital; lathicharge in Dharmapuri district

An armed mob that barged into the Narikudi union office created a pandemonium after the voting through ballot papers for the post of Narikudi Union Chairperson ended in a tie between the AIADMK-supported Independent K. Panchavarnam and DMK candidate S. Kaleeswari.

After throwing stones at the huge posse of police, the gang managed to push itself forward into the union hall where the officials were explaining to the candidates about the next process of indirect election through a draw of lots. Even as the AIADMK members were objecting to this idea, the gang attacked the police.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Venkatesan of Aruppukottai sub-division suffered a cut injury on his right hand. Even as he was bleeding, the mob managed to enter the hall and started to ransack the furniture.

While the DMK has six members, the AIADMK has five members in the 14-member panchayat council. There are two Independents and one AMMK member. The AIADMK supported Ms. Panchavarnam to bolster its strength.

“The ruling party cadres purposefully unleashed violence and stopped the election. The draw of lot could have favoured any side. Still, they did not want to follow the due process of election but were bent upon to stop the election. Sadly, the State administration has also succumbed to the objective of the ruling party,” Tiruchuli MLA and DMK Virudhunagar (North) District secretary, Thangam Thennarasu said.

The police have picked up two persons in connection with the attack on the DSP who was given first aid by a medical team at the panchayat union office premises.

Violence in Watrap

At Watrap Union, the AIADMK and the DMK were locked in a tie with six members each (DMK four and CPI 2). Getting the support of Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam candidate, V. Rekha, became crucial. However, after the counting of votes, DMK’s S. Kannan had secured seven votes and the AIADMK’s M. Sindhumurugan got six votes.

“As the ruling party candidate sought a recount, the RO did it and the results were the same,” said one of the DMK councillors. As one of them tried to snatch the ballot papers, the RO secured them.

But even before the election results could be officially announced, the AIADMK men barged into the hall and the election officials ran helter skelter. Amidst the commotion, the officials announced that the election was stopped. Concurring with the DMK councillor’s narration, CPI councillor R. Kondammal said: “If the officials had not locked the DMK and CPI councillors in a room, they could have attacked us,” she said.

In Ramanathapuram, there were reports of violence during the indirect elections for District Panchayat Chairman and Panchayat Union Chairman posts on Saturday.

Voting for the post of Mandapam Panchayat Union Chairman was delayed due to violence between the AIADMK and the DMK cadre. A section of the DMK cadre objected to the presence of MLA and former minister M. Manikandan inside the office and a quarrel ensued between the ruling party men and the DMK men. Soon, the quarrelling groups started throwing chairs at one another and window panes were shattered. The MLA was forced to move out of the office.

In Bogalur union, the councillors and the party cadres of the DMK blocked the road, alleging haggling of councillors by the ruling party. On Friday, AIADMK men, led by B. Kalimuthu, threw four petrol bombs and assaulted a DMK man identified as M. Bose and his accomplice Viajy with a sword at Devakottai over alleged bargaining in the election.

Sources said that Mr. Bose had housed two Independents and one DMDK councillor of the Kamuthi Union in a remote location near Devakottai in Sivaganga district, to keep the flock intact. However, Mr. Kalimuthu and his men learnt about the location and attacked them with petrol bombs on reaching the spot. The Devakottai police registered a case against 18 persons. Mr. Bose and Mr. Vijay were admitted to Devakottai hospital.

In Dharmapuri district, the indirect election in Morappur union was deferred following agitation by the AIADMK and lathi charge by the police.

DMK’s road roko

In Pudukottai, DMK cadre resorted to road roko at Annavasal, alleging foul play in the indirect election to the post of Annavasal panchayat union chairperson. The AIADMK candidate was declared elected for the post.

Alleging foul play, the DMK members blocked the road on the main road at Annavasal.

They claimed that the officials were hand in glove with the AIADMK and had ensured its victory by declaring a vote as invalid. The protest was withdrawn after an hour with the intervention of police and revenue officials.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK members staged a road roko on Karambakudi-Pudukottai road for about an hour, protesting against the officials for allowing the DMK ward members of Karambakudi panchayat union to caste votes without producing their winning certificates. On information, senior revenue officials held talks with them and subsequently, the protest was withdrawn.

(With inputs from

C. Jaishankar in Tiruchi)

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:22:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/violence-mars-polls-to-panchayat-union-posts/article30546695.ece

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