The counting of votes for the rural local body elections in Tamil Nadu which were held on October 6 and 9 began at 74 centres spread across nine districts of the state on Tuesday. The elections were held for the rural local bodies of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Ranipet, Villupuram, Vellore, Tiruppatur, and Kallakurichi districts of the state.
Voting was held for 27,003 posts in these districts. The first phase of polling on October 6 recorded 77.4 per cent polling while the second phase on October 9 registered 78.5 per cent polling. Around 80,000 candidates have contested for the polls and 2,981 got elected unopposed. Of this 119 are village panchayat union presidents, five panchayat union ward members, and two district panchayat union ward members were elected unopposed.
Ballot papers have to be sorted out as each voter had cast vote for the four different posts -- district panchayat union ward members, panchayat union ward members, village panchayat presidents and village panchayat ward members.
The sorting of ballot papers has already commenced and will be bundled into 50. The counting will be done in the presence of candidates, their agents, and the state election commission authorised personnel.
31,245 officials are involved in the counting process and 6,228 police personnel are deployed for duty in the counting centres spread in the nine districts.
CCTV cameras are deployed at all counting centres and State Election Commissioner, V. Palanikumar told the media persons that a full proof counting will be done and the results would be made available on the Commission website.
Police are on an alert in the Southern districts of Tirunelveli and Tenkasi following the recent killings and to prevent any untoward incidents when results are declared.
R Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai while speaking to IANS said, "The State Election commission has done well to conduct free and fair elections. Let us hope that no untoward incidents are reported after results are out and with a heavy police force being deployed at all sensitive areas, there are remote possibilities of any untoward incident. Southern Tamil Nadu is a very sensitive area and caste-based issues leading to vendetta and killings are happening here and awareness has to be created right from first standard classes in schools to do away with these practices."