CHENNAI: Roads in the state wore a desolate look as shops, business establishments and hotels downed their shutters to allow workers to cast their votes, following a directive from the government.
Hotels and restaurants across the state were shut for the first time during the state assembly elections, said Dr M Venkadasubbu, President, Tamil Nadu Hotels & Restaurants Association.
Venkadasubbu told The New Indian Express that the hotels and restaurants were shut following a directive from the labour commissioner. "Usually hotels and restaurants remain open during the elections and workers cast their vote and return to work. This is the first time such an announcement has been made," he said.
"Hotels and restaurants will be losing one day of earnings. However, we will be paying the salary to our employees," said Venkadasubbu. Interestingly, the hotel industry is awaiting an announcement tomorrow when some restrictions will be announced following the second wave of COVID-19.
However, some hotels remained open. Venkadasubbu said it is at the request of polling officials, who want them to function so that they don't go hungry.
Satish, who delivers food for Swiggy, told The New Indian Express that a lot of orders were cancelled as most hotels were shut. A north Indian employee of a hotel said hotels will reopen after 6 pm.
Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu State president AM Vikramaraja told The New Indian Express that the government wanted all business establishments to close so that workers could vote. "We have lost one day of earnings due to the elections," he said.
The Koyambedu wholesale fruit and vegetable market and Koyambedu foodgrain market remained shut on Tuesday on account of the elections. "The holiday was declared so that traders could cast their vote," said a trader.