Polling in the single phase of Assembly election in Puducherry began on a brisk note on Tuesday with people queuing up early at the booths to cast their vote. Voting began at 7 am simultaneously in all the four regions of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam to elect 30 legislators. The polling percentage as of 10 am was reported to be 16.97%.
Former Puducherry CM and Congress leader V.Narayanasamy was among the few people who turned up early to vote in Puducherry assembly elections
A spokesman of the Election Department told PTI that although the percentage of polling for the first two hours would be known only around 9.30 a.m. turn out of the voters at the booths was swelling in most of the constituencies. "People perhaps wanted to exercise franchise before the intense heat begins," a resident of a nearby constituency said.
Puducherry and its outlying regions have a strength of 10.04 lakh voters. There are 324 contestants sponsored by political parties and independents. Founder leader of the AINRC heading the NDA here N Rangasamy is among the important candidates in the poll fray. Former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy opted out of the poll battle.
While AINRC is contesting in 16 seats, its alliance partners the BJP woos voters in 9 segments and the AIADMK in remaining five seats. The Congress is contesting 14 seats and supports an Independent in Yanam and its allies-- the DMK in 13, VCK and CPI the other constituents of the alliance led by Congress have fielded one candidate each.
There are 1558 polling booths. The authorities have set up one all women polling booth in every constituency. In such booths all the staff manning the booths are women. Police including Central Armed police personnel have been deployed in strength to ensure peace. Around 330 booths have been identified as vulnerable.
(With PTI inputs)