Tamil Nadu civic polls: First phase ends

October 17th, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 17 (IANS) The first phase of the two-phased civic bodies’ polls came to an end in Tamil Nadu Monday evening with an over 65 percent voter turnout, an official said.

According to Tamil Nadu State Election Commisison (SEC) officials, the polling percentage is expected to be around 65-68 percent.

Polling was largely peaceful, except for some sporadic incidents of violence and booth capturing, allegedly by ruling AIADMK cadres.

The second phase of the civic polls will be held Oct 19.

Counting of votes takes place Friday.

Elections were held Monday to select mayors for 10 municipal corporations, chairpersons for 60 municipalities and presidents for 259 town panchayats and 191 village panchayats.

Complaints of missing names in the electoral list, malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVM) and non-installation of web camera in Chennai were made by voters and opposition parties.

AIADMK, DMK and DMDK cadres were attacked by rival partymen in the city and the injured were admitted to government hospitals.

In a statement, DMDK founder A. Vijayakant said the party’s candidate M. Velmurugan and his brothers were attacked in Chennai by AIADMK men and were admitted to hospital.

He charged the State Election Commission (SEC) with having failed to provide security for the voters and candidates.

The DMK charged the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government of not complying with the Madras High Court directive on installation of web cameras in polling booths.

Former deputy chief minister M.K. Stalin told reporters that the court had directed the SEC to install web cameras in all the polling booths in the city.

“Web cameras are not installed in around 80-85 percent of the booths and the polling process is not videographed,” he said.

Stalin said party lawyers Monday lodged a complaint with the chief justice and city police commissioner on the violation.

He said the DMK would seek repoll in all the polling stations without a web camera.

Former union minister and PMK’s mayoral candidate for Chennai, in a complaint to the chief justice Monday, said the SEC has completely disregarded rules to help the ruling party cadre to indulge in corrupt practices in polling booths.

Former chief minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi alleged that the SEC was biased in favour of the AIADMK.

Around 4.63 crore people are eligible to vote in the two-phased local body polls Monday and Wednesday.

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