By-polls: Curtains down on campaign

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Chennai, Oct 19: Leaders of various political parties were involved in full fledged campaign at Vikravandi and Nanguneri as today is the last day for the by-election campaign.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK president M K Stalin and others sought votes in the constituencies. Leaders of the alliance parties too took part in the campaign. As many as 23 candidates are in the fray in the Vikravandi constituency and 12 candidates are battling it out at Nanguneri.

The final list of candidates was released 3 October following which the election campaigning began. People not belonging to the constituencies, who are campaigning for the candidates have been asked to leave by today evening. The district authorities has been instructed to ensure that no outsiders are staying in hotels and marriage halls after today evening. Tight security is in place in both the constituencies.

Sources said there are 299 polling booths in 170 polling stations in Nanguneri. Out of this 36 are said to be sensitive. Additional protection has been given to these booths. VVPAT machines and EVMs have been kept at the Nanguneri Taluk Office. Since 23 candidates are contesting here two machines will be used for polling. Around 1,400 election officials will be on duty here.

There are 275 polling booths in 139 polling stations in Vikravandi. In this, 50 booths are said to be sensitive. Around 1,333 election officials have been deployed for duty here.

Security has been tightened in both the constituencies with six company paramilitary forces deployed for protection. Apart from this any vehicle that enters and leaves the constituencies are subjected to checking by flying squad teams. So far 19,92,200 unaccounted money was seized during the raids conducted in the constituencies.

Congress from the DMK alliance has fielded Chennai-based builder Ruby R Manohar and AIADMK has fielded V Narayanan from Nanguneri respectively. DMK has fielded N Pugazhendhi against M R Muthamizhselvan of the AIADMK in Vikravandi.

The Vikravandi Assembly seat fell vacant after DMK MLA K Rathamani passed away in June. Nanguneri is vacant after Congress MLA H Vasantha Kumar resigned in May after being elected as Member of Parliament. Polling will be done on 21 October and results will be announced on 24 October.


NT Bureau