VELLORE / TIRUVANNAMALAI: The polling for the vacant posts in the local bodies in Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts on Thursday went off peacefully, except for a stray incident. While Vellore recorded an overall polling percentage of 53 per cent, Tiruvannamalai district registered 69.89 percent at the end of the polling at 5 pm.
The by-poll was conducted for 32 vacant posts—chairperson of Arakkonam municipality, one councillor (35th ward) in Vaniyambadi municipality, one ward member of town panchayat, one panchayat union ward member, four presidents of village panchayats and 24 village panchayat ward members— in Vellore district. “A total of 1,100 police personnel and officers were engaged in election duty,” said SP of Vellore P Vijayakumar.
The polling for the municipal chairperson for Arakkonam and ward councillor in Vaniyambadi recorded 46 percent polling. However, the voter turnout was better in rural areas. 72 percent polling was recorded in panchayat unions and village panchayats and 75 per cent recorded in Town Panchayats.
“The by-election was peaceful and there was no complaint. It was a fair and free election,” said Collector R Nanthagopal. However, tense moments prevailed in the polling booths in Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Jothi Nagar in Arakkonam around 2 pm. Independent Candidate Eswaran and his supporters reportedly assaulted E Jayaraman(33) of Tiruttani, a sympathiser of AIADMK MP G Hari, for entering the polling booth for alleged malpractice while carrying lunch for the MP, inside the polling station. On information, SP Vijayakumar rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.
In Tiruvannamalai, the by-election was conducted for the 26 vacant posts—one panchayat union ward member, nine panchayat president and 16 panchayat ward members. Counting of votes will be held on September 22. After the polls, the ballot boxes and EVMs were transported to the strong rooms.