The lukewarm campaign in the run up to the polls was hardly enough to convince people in five Tamil Nadu villages to change their minds â€“ they had decided to boycott the polls. But where the political parties failed, Election Commission officials had some luck.
While the people of Tamil Nadu braved the unexpected rainfall to cast their votes, three villages in three different districts nearly boycotted the polls, for varied reasons.
In Naganpalli village of Nilgiris district, 600 tribal voters had initially decided to boycott the state assembly elections, over pending demand for housing sites. On learning of their decision, district officials rushed to the village and convinced the people to exercise their franchise.
The tribals, whose village comes within the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve forest area, were upset that their demand for an alternative house site was not met by the successive governments and decided to boycott the elections.
In yet another case of boycott, the people of A. Subramaniyapuram, a small-village part of Vasudevanallur constituency, had also decided to refrain from casting their votes due to governmentâ€™s reluctance to open the Muriyapaanjan dam in Tirunalveli district.
Villagers claim that over 13 villages have been affected due to governmentâ€™s negligence and their decision to not open the dam for the past eight years. They reasoned that boycotting the polls was the only way they could show their protest.
While the district officials were trying to persuade the villagers to cast their votes, the election commission has not officially released data on the voter turnout in the village.
Having 900 registered voters, Thuraiyur village near Kovilpatti in Madurai district saw a minimum 75 votes being polled due to lack of polling station in the village. The voters of Thuraiyur refused to commute to the neighbouring village to cast their votes. On the insistence of the EC, around 75 people agreed to travel the distance and cast their ballot.
Villagers of Gavaragiri in Ottadiparam taluk in Tuticorin district had decided not to cast their vote due to successive governmentsâ€™ denial of permission for their temple festival. Voter turnout for this village is awaited.
Poosaripatti village of Virudhunagar district has a total of 21 ration cards and around 250 registered voters. Here too, villagers, who are predominantly engaged in agriculture and firework businesses had refused to cast their vote due to dissatisfaction with the government. However, some villagers are said to have changed their mind. The EC is yet to release final voter turnout for the village.