TN rural local body polls: Counting of votes begins amid tight security

Chennai: The State Election Commission today commenced counting of votes polled in rural local bodies in nine reorganised districts from 8 am at 74 counting centres. The entire process is being done under CCTV surveillance.

Officials involved in counting sorted out ballots polled for four different posts – district panchayat ward members, panchayat union ward members, village panchayat presidents and village panchayat ward members.

The sorted ballots were bundled into 50 and the bundles were taken to the counting arena in the presence of the candidates, their agents and persons authorised by the state election commission for detailed counting.

Three-tier security arrangements in place at all 74 counting centres. The polling took place for elections to around 24,000 seats across nine districts: Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Tenkasi, Vellore, Ranipet, Thirupathur, Tirunelveli, Villupuram and Kallakurichi. While the voter turnout in the first phase was 74.37 per cent, that in the second and final phase dipped slightly, with 73.27 per cent voters exercising their right to vote.

‘Candidates, their agents, counting agents and officials involved in the counting process will not be allowed to carry their mobile phones inside the counting centres,’ the TNSEC said in an official release. The general public are allowed inside the centres.

A total of 31,245 officials are involved in the counting of votes at 74 centres in the nine districts. Over 6,200 officials and police personnel are involved in security arrangements.

The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are among the major parties in the fray.

The commission will declare the results online on its website as and when the results are announced.


NT Bureau