Today's Paper

67 Chennai wards set for polling today

City Bureau

Videographing in "sensitive" boothsMechanism in place to file complaints

CHENNAI: The clock will tick till 5 p.m. on Sunday while Chennai determines who will represent 67 of its 155 wards in one of the city's most controversial rounds of election.

Vijayakant's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) will challenge the ruling DMK-led alliance's candidates in 62 wards. With the AIADMK-led alliance boycotting the polls, it could be an opportunity for the DMDK to try to make inroads. But the question is whether residents in large numbers would turn up for the second local body elections in less than six months.

Civil rights activists have said the violent incidents in the Corporation elections last October - that led to a case in the High Court, the resignation of 98 councillors and ultimately the byelections - could have dampened the spirits of many voters.

On Saturday, officials put out at schools housing election booths posters urging voters to ``come and vote without fear.'' They also used loudspeakers to announce the elections in the wards.

Nearly 16 lakh voters are on the rolls in the 67 wards . There are 1,534 booths, including 474 ``sensitive'' ones. Officials have made arrangements to videograph the polling in such booths. Every sensitive booth will have one sub-inspector and four policemen present, in addition to polling officials.

In case of complaints, voters can contact the assistant returning officers, election observers, the Chennai Corporation, the police or the State Election Commission.