'Consistent' Tamil Nadu sees 72.8 pc turnout

'Consistent' Tamil Nadu sees 72.8 pc turnout

'Consistent' Tamil Nadu sees 72.8 pc turnout

Tamil Nadu on Thursday registered an estimated 72.8 per cent polling, which was marginally lower than the 72.9 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. However, the process was peaceful, with no untoward incident reported from any part of the state.

Giving the provisional statistics of the quantum of votes polled at the end of the single phase of elections for the state, Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said that Dharmapuri, from where former Union health minister and PMK Youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss was contesting, recorded the highest of 80.99 per cent.

He said that it was followed by 80.12 per cent in Perambalur, a record so far, where SRM University Chancellor Paariventher alias T R Pachamuthu was contesting on the Indiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) ticket.

PMK and IJK faced the polls as part of the umbrella alliance led by the BJP, that consisted of DMDK led by actor-politician Vijayakanth, Vaiko-led MDMK, PMK led by Dr Ramadoss, the Kongu Party and the IJK. Kumar said that the final voting percentage might go up marginally, but could be much lower than the all-time high of 76.59 recorded in 1967.

Other constituencies from where highest polling was recorded included Karur, Namakkal and Chidambaram (79 per cent), Salem and Kallakurichi (77), Aarni (78) and Arakkonam (77).

After a gap of nearly 47 years and 11 elections, the 16th Lok Sabha elections on Thursday came close to breaking the record, but fell short of the target, according to the provisional figures released by the Election Commission.

In all other earlier Parliamentary seats, it was around 65 to 70 per cent, with the lowest being 57.86 in Chennai South, where there is a good presence of educated IT professionals.

According to reports received by the Election Commission, villagers in four districts — Erode, Ariyalur, Krishnagiri and Dindugul — boycotted polls because their demands of drinking water facilities and infrastructure development were not met.

Meanwhile, Kumar said that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been replaced in 29 polling booths due to some technical snag, which led to a delay in the polling process.

The deciding factor of the polls — first-time voters braving the scorching summer heat, including the youth, who constitute about 20 per cent, voted enthusiastically since morning by turning up at polling booths in large numbers. There are about 60 lakh new voters in the state after the 2011 Assembly polls.