The second phase of rural local body elections held in nine districts in Tamil Nadu on Saturday, October 9, registered a voting percentage of about 73.27%, the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) said. The nine reconstituted districts, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Tenkasi, Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupathur, Tirunelveli, Villupuram and Kallakurichi, had panchayat elections in two phases on October 6 and 9.
According to the poll body, Villupuram witnessed a maximum voter turnout of 83.6% and Tirunelveli the lowest of 65 percent. While Kallakurichi saw 82%, Ranipet saw 75.3%, Thirupathur saw 73.5%, Kancheepuram saw 72%, Chengalpattu and Tenkasi saw 70% each, and Vellore registered 68%.
Voting, which started on a dull note in the morning, picked up pace later in the day registering 9.27% by 9 am and 60.34% at about 3 pm. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 12.
The polling to bill around 10,000 posts was by and large peaceful, though one incident of stabbing was reported in Vellore.
In Vellore, a DMK member, allegedly in an inebriated state stabbed an AIADMK cadre after words were exchanged at a polling booth in Anaikattu. In Gerugambakkam, DMK and AMMK supporters faced off, with some of them sustaining injuries.
The ruling DMK and AIADMK are the major contenders. AIADMK's ally the PMK chose to contest on its own from all the nine districts, while another ally, the BJP is contesting alone in Kallakurichi district.
Meanwhile, the opposition, AIADMK, has sought the poll body to webcast or telecast the process of counting of votes on October 12 in the districts where the elections were held. In a memorandum to the State Election Commissioner, the party's legal wing joint secretary RM Babu Murugavel urged the authorities to restrict access inside the polling booths and counting centres for MLAs, MPs and their nominees and agents and also to ensure the ballot votes were counted at a static place.