Close contest between AIADMK, DMK in civic poll results

Chennai: Counting of votes for the rural local body elections continued for the second consecutive day today with the AIADMK and the DMK witnessing a close contest between them. Though the opposition DMK was slightly ahead in the number of seats, the ruling AIADMK was not far behind.

While the results were out in several districts, counting was still on at a few places including Salem, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamali, Thiruvallur and Ramanathapuram districts.

A transwoman, students and elderly women were among the successful candidates who fought the 27 and 30 December polls to rural civic bodies. Counting of ballots for thousands of civic posts in 27 districts began Thursday morning at 8 am.

Several from humble background were successful, including Saraswathi, a former sanitary worker who was elected as a village panchayat president from Virudhunagar district.

Riya, a 30-year old transwoman of the DMK, was declared elected union councillor in Namakkal district’s Tiruchengode Panchayat Union. She is the first transwoman to win a local body election in Tamilnadu on the ticket of a recognised political party, according to officials.

Preethi Mohan, a 22-year-old second year postgraduate student won as union councillor from Salem District’s Ayothiapattinam Panchayat Union.

Sandyarani Jayasarathi, a 21-year old woman and a student was elected village panchayat president of KN Thotti in Krishnagiri district.

Also, in districts including Ramanathapuram a number of elderly women -of age ranging between 70-80- were elected to civic posts and these were allocated to women.

The direct elections were to elect 91,975 civic posts in rural bodies falling under 27 districts. Of the over 90,000 posts, 76,746 were village panchayat ward member posts and 9,624 village panchayat president positions.

Also, polls were held for 5,090 panchayat union ward member posts and 515 district panchayat ward member (also referred as councillors) positions. Among such thousands of civic posts, as many as 18,570 were elected unopposed.

The counting of votes were being held by deploying about 1,00,000 officials in 315 centres spread across 27 districts amid tight security provided by 30,354 police personnel.

The State Election Commission, referring to the use of paper ballots in polls, said the completion of counting of votes in all the districts may happen by Friday.

Lot decides winner
Since two candidates got 664 each in Mayakulam president post in Ramanathapuram district, Saranya was elected as the winner through lot.

Won by one
Ponnammal, a candidate from Ilakkapuram near Namakkal, was elected as president in one vote difference.

Tragedy after success
Manivel (72), who contested on behalf of the DMK in for the president post in Aadhanur in Perambalur passed away due to health issues. He had defeated his opponent Subramani by 160 votes.

Cop passes away
Sub-Inspector of Police Arivudainambi who was posted on election duty at Ariyalur passed away after he suffered cardiac arrest while returning from duty.

Panneerselvam reacts
Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam today said that the party accepts the verdict of the people.

NT Bureau