Puducherry sees 78% voter turnout at 5 pm
Curtains came down on the single-phase Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at 7 pm on Tuesday. Polling was peaceful across the state and the Union Territory. The voter turnover as of 5 pm was about 78% in Puducherry, officials said. Voting for the lone Kaniyakumari Lok Sabha seat where the bye-poll was simultaneously held came to an end as well. Measures were put in place in polling booths to curb the spread of the coronavirus, such as the availability of hand sanitiser and gloves, and wearing of masks was compulsory.
Puducherry recorded an average of 35.64% polling as of 12.30 pm, and at 11 am, the overall polling percentage in the Union Territory was 20.07%. While Puducherry clocked 19.92%, Karaikal registered 20.70%, Mahe 15.46% and Yanam 24.17%. In the 2016 election, Puducherry recorded 81.94% voter turnout. However, while the final voter turnout is not yet known, the number may be affected by the COVID-19 situation.
Puducherry and its outlying regions have a strength of 10.04 lakh voters. There are 324 contestants sponsored by political parties and independents in the fray for the election. N Rangaswamy, founder leader of the All India NR Congress (AINRC), which is heading the National Democratic Alliance in Puducherry, is among the important candidates in the poll fray. Former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy opted out of the poll battle.
There are 1558 polling booths that have been set up across Puducherry. The authorities have set up one all women polling booth in every constituency. Security, including police and Central Armed police personnel, have been deployed in strength to ensure peaceful polling. Around 330 booths have been identified as vulnerable.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded an overall voter turnout of approximately 71.79% at the end of polling day. Kerala, which also went to polls on Tuesday, saw a voter turnout of 74.02% by the end of the day.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2.