‘Additional police personnel were deployed in 90 sensitive polling stations’
The district witnessed peaceful second phase polling that was held in 567 booths on Saturday to record a poll percentage of 69.16%.
Following the first phase polling conducted on last Wednesday (October 6) with 70.36% voter turnout, the second phase election was conducted to elect 629 village panchayat ward members, 88 village panchayat presidents, 60 panchayat union councilors and 6 district panchayat councilors from Nanguneri, Kalakkad, Valliyoor and Radhapuram unions.
After recording just 6.59% polling percentage in the first two hours, polling that started at 7 a.m. rose to 22.89% at 11 a.m. and 37.13% at 1 p.m. The voter turnout stood at 50% at 3 p.m. and relatively satisfactory 63.21% at 5 p.m.
Speaker M. Appavu, who cast his vote in a polling station at Periyanayagipuram near his native place of Lebbaikudiyiruppu under Kaavalkinaru village panchayat, told the reporters that the voters were enthusiastically exercising their franchise as they were aware that effective administration being ensured at grassroots level in the village panchayats through ballots was the key for creating better infrastructure facilities in rural areas.
“The electorates, with all awareness, are casting their votes in ballot papers in the rural local body election, which is being conducted in peaceful manner,” Mr. Appavu said.
Tension prevailed at Aavaraikulam near Valliyoor, the native place of Tirunelveli MP S. Gnanathiraviam, for a while as he allegedly manhandled BJP worker Bhaskar as the latter reportedly made some defamatory remarks against the former. The BJP cadres took him to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital from where he was discharged within an hour as “he did not suffer any injury”.
Mr. Gnanathiraviam cast his vote in the Hindu Primary School booth in Aavaraikulam.
Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan, who visited good number of polling stations throughout the day, said additional police personnel had been deployed in 90 sensitive polling stations even as over 1,500 policemen had been deployed as part of the poll-related security arrangements.
In Thoothukudi, election for six village panchayat president vacancies and 16 village panchayat ward members was held on Saturday. Election Observer C. N. Maheshwaran visited the polling booths in Vaalasamudhram and Kollamparambu village panchayats, both under Ottapidaaram panchayat union.
Over 600 policemen were deployed as part of the security arrangements, Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar said.
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