Amid tight security, voting began today for polls in Thanjavur, Aravakkurichi and for bypolls in Thirupparankundram in Tamil Nadu and the lone Nellithope seat in neighbouring Puducherry. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, a non-member of the House, is taking on AIADMK candidate Om Sakthi Segar, at Nellithope. In Tamil Nadu, people began queuing up in polling stations enthusiastically in all the constituencies and local poll officials said the voting percentage was between eight and ten approximately in the first hour. Polling began at 7 AM.
Rangasamy (AIADMK) and DMK’s Anjugam Bhoopathy are main contenders in Thanjavur. In Aravakkurichi, Senthil Balaji (AIADMK) and KC Palanisamy (DMK) are in the fray while AIADMK’s AK Bose is pitted against DMK’s Saravanan in Thirupparankundram.
Chief Minister and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals, has urged people to vote for her party in the three constituencies and lone seat in Puducherry.
Jayalalithaa, for the first time since she was admitted to hospital on September 22, had appealed to people to “give your love and support to AIADMK in the present polls as well, remembering such innumerable schemes to enhance the people’s standard of living.”
While in Aravakkurichi total electorate is 2,00,347, in Thanjavur it is 2,68,516 and in Thiruparankundram 2,85,980. Aravakkurichi has 245 polling stations, while Thanjavur 276 and Thiruparankundram 291. In the three constituencies, over 5,000 personnel are deployed for poll related duties and there are nearly 1,000 micro observers.
All arrangements have been made for web-casting and videography and adequate number of EVMs are available.
Officials said voters turned up at the booths some twenty minutes before 7 AM at Nellithope.The constituency has 31,366 voters and all the 26 booths were declared sensitive.
In some booths, men voters turned up in larger number than women much ahead of commencement of the polling.
There are nine contestants in the constituency.
The bypoll was necessary to fill vacancy caused by the vacation of the Nellithope seat by Congress legislator A John Kumar who quit his post as MLA on September 15 to enable Narayanasamy, a non-member of the House, to contest.
Amid the demonetisation drive, Election Commission had advised voters to ensure that indelible ink was marked only on the right hand index figure and not on the left while exchanging scrapped denomination of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes.