Over 67 per cent of voters in Tamil Nadu exercised their franchise on Wednesday during the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections, up by six per cent since the last general elections. Madurai, from where Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s son MK Azhagiri is contesting, witnessed 75 per cent polling, while Karur logged 80 per cent.
Addressing the press here, Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta pointed out that during the 2004 LS elections, the percentage stood at 61 per cent. “There is a distinct increase’’ this time around, he said.
The overall percentage might go up by another per cent as final figures were yet to arrive from various constituencies. In Chennai, the voter turnout hovered around 58 per cent. In Madurai, people turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. The polling was brisk right through the day. At the close of polls, the figure stood at 76.6 per cent, an all-time high in this seat.
Erode registered 71 per cent polling. Sources said the assembly segment-wise percentage is Komarapalayam 67, Erode West 76, East 73, Modakurichi 70, Kangayam 77 and Dharapuram 67. It was less than 67 per cent during the last LS polls.
An overall 68 per cent of polling was recorded in Thanjavur Parliamentary constituency comprising six Assembly segments. While the maximum of 75 per cent of polling was in Tiruvaiyaru segment, the minimum of 62 per cent was recorded in Mannargudi segment.
Pattukkottai witnessed 68 per cent polling, Orathanadu 72 per cent, Peravurani 66 per cent and Thanjavur 65 per cent.
In Pudukottai, it was 65 per cent. Earlier, the district comprised six Assembly segments. The delimitation exercise detached Pudukkottai and Gandharvakottai (SC) Assembly segments to Tiruchy LS constituency.
The CEO admitted that EVMs malfunctioned in various places. About 100 EVMs were set right by the technicians while 93 were replaced throughout Tamil Nadu, he informed.
When asked about the charge of AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa that the EVMS were not functioning properly and if the voter pressed for a symbol, the indicator in some other symbol was glowing, the CEO said two such EVMs were replaced in Chennai.
However, he clarified that the fault was detected when mock poll was conducted in front of the polling agents. As such, no vote was polled with the faulty machines. Responding to a query, Gupta said the decision on repoll, if needed in some booths, would be taken on Thursday after consulting the observors. (Hindu Report)