Updated April 19th, 2024 at 23:28 IST

LS Polls: Tamil Nadu Sees Record 72.09% Voter Turnout

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said the polling process was held peacefully across the state barring some very minor incidents, that were argumentative in nature.

The polling process began at 7 AM across the state on a brisk note and by noon it went on a sluggish pace for a while and later picked up till voting ended. | Image:ANI
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Chennai: Tamil Nadu recorded a voter turnout of 72.09 percent in the Lok Sabha polls held in a single phase on Friday with no major untoward incidents. About 1.3 lakh police personnel and 190 companies of Central Armed Police forces were deployed for free and fair polls in 68,321 polling stations, that were manned by 3,32,233 election personnel in 39 Lok Sabha constituencies across the state.

In 2019 LS polls, Tamil Nadu registered 72.44 per cent polling.

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The lone Puducherry Lok Sabha seat recorded 77.86 per cent polling, according to the union territory election authorities. The fight is between BJP's A Namassivayam and Congress MP V Vaithilingam, seeking a successive term.

In 2019, Puducherry recorded 81.25 per cent voting.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said the polling process was held peacefully across the state barring some very minor incidents, that were argumentative in nature. Authorities indicated there could be some marginal change in the voter turunout as voters who had arrived before the 6 PM deadline in polling stations were allowed to vote. There were reports of glitches in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in some places but they were rectified.

The contest was largely three-way with ruling DMK, AIADMK and BJP leading respective blocs.

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While Kallakurichi in northern Tamil Nadu saw the highest voting percentage of 75.67 per cent, Central Chennai recorded 67.35, the lowest. DMK's Dayanidhi Maran, BJP's Vinoj P Selvam and DMDK's Parthasarathy, an AIADMK ally are the key candidates.

In Coimbatore, where BJP state president K Annamalai is facing a three-way challenge from DMK's Ganapathy Rajkumar, AIADMK's Singai G Ramachandran and Naam Tamilar Katchi's (NTK) Kalamani Jaganathan, 71.17 percent voter turnout was recorded.

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Annamalai claimed the names of about one lakh voters were not found in the electoral rolls and sought appropriate action.

South Chennai, where BJP's Tamilisai Soundararajan is trying her luck saw 67.82 per cent polling. DMK's Tamizachi Thangapandian and AIADMK's J Jayavardhan are her main rivals.

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Dharmapuri recorded the second highest polling of 75.44 percent. NDA ally, PMK's Sowmiya Anbumani, DMK's A Mani and AIADMK's R Asokan are the main contenders here.

While there were some complaints of names of voters missing from electoral rolls including at Mahathanapuram booth in Mayiladuthurai, Sahoo said the matter would be looked into and appealed to people to check the draft electoral rolls are published.

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Two elderly voters died after arriving to cast their vote in Salem and a report has been sought, he added.

The Lok Sabha election also saw boycott by villagers opposed to the Parandur airport project near here and by people at Vengaivayal in Pudukkottai district to mark their protest over non-arrest of perpetrators in the human faeces incident of 2022 that shocked the state. For reasons involving local issues, people belonging to some other places too avoided casting their votes.

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It included Seeragampatti under Natham in Dindigul district and an area in Thoothukudi district, where miscreants pelted stones on a police vehicle.

In Chidambaram LS constituency where DMK ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thol Thirumavalavan is seeking reelection, a BJP office-bearer was allegedly assaulted by VCK workers.

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Chidambaram BJP candidate Karthiyayini posted a video clip of the assaulted worker on 'X' and sought tough action.

Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi cast his vote at a polling booth here while Chief Minister M K Stalin, former CMs, O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami and leaders of political parties exercised their franchise.

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TN BJP President K Annamalai voted at his native village in Karur district and NTK top leader Seeman at Neelankarai in Chennai. PMK's Dharmapuri candidate Sowmiya Anbumani voted at Tindivanam.

A host of cinema stars, including Rajinikanth, actor-politicians Kamal Haasan and Vijay and Ajith Kumar also exercised their franchise.

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The enthusiasm among first time voters was palpable who hurried to find their names on electoral rolls at makeshift kiosks set up by political parties. Several of them proudly displayed the indelible mark and said they have completed their democratic duty.

Authorities ensured amenities like drinking water and 'pandal' to provide shade to voters who line up the serpentine queues. 

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Published April 19th, 2024 at 23:28 IST