Tamil Nadu records 70 pc voter turnout

Tamil Nadu records 70 pc voter turnout

Inmates of the Institute of Mental Health cast their votes at a polling booth during the second phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in Chennai, Thursday, April 18, 2019. PTI photo

Tamil Nadu on Thursday recorded nearly 70 % turnover at 6 pm in the elections held to 38 Lok Sabha constituencies, even as election in Vellore was rescinded on allegations of rampant use of money power. The state has had a history of robust polling, but Thursday’s turnout did not inch past the percentage of votes that was polled five years ago, in 2014, which was 73.68 %.

The percentage would slightly go up since polling in Madurai ended only at 8 pm owing to the famous Chithirai festival. The percentage for by-elections to 18 assembly constituencies stood at 71.62 at 6 pm. 

In the Lok Sabha polls, Namakkal recorded the maximum turnout with 78%, closely followed by Chidambaram 76.07 % and Karur 75.84%.

The day also saw DMK alleging that the ruling AIADMK was planning to capture booths after 3 pm, but Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said there were no reports of booth capturing or any other law and order violation.

Sporadic violence was reported in Ariyalur in Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency, while the police had to fire in the air to disperse protesters in Melvisaram in Arakkonam constituency. In Chennai, the North seat recorded 61.46 %, South recorded 58.14 % and Central 57.05 %. 

In Assembly, Harur constituency in Dharmapuri district recorded 86.96 %, Nilakkotai (85.50) and Pappireddipatti (83.31). Politicians waited in queue to cast their votes with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Opposition Leader M K Stalin exercising their franchise in Salem and Chennai.

After casting his vote, Stalin alleged that there has been distribution of cash and accused the Election Commission of being an "ally" of central and state governments.