Vikravandi turnout a tad higher at 82.48 per cent, vote counting on July 13

The decision of the principal opposition party, the AIADMK, to boycott the race did not affect the turnout, which was comparable to the 82.45% votes polled in 2021.
Voting began at 7 am across the assembly segment, except at two booths where it was delayed due to ballot unit error.
Voting began at 7 am across the assembly segment, except at two booths where it was delayed due to ballot unit error.(Photo | Sriram R)

VILLUPURAM: Barring minor hiccups, the by-election to the Vikravandi Assembly seat concluded peacefully on Wednesday with a turnout of 82.48%. Counting will take place on Saturday.

The bypoll was necessitated by the death of DMK MLA N Pugazhendi on April 6. The decision of the principal opposition party, the AIADMK, to boycott the race did not affect the turnout, which was comparable to the 82.45% votes polled in 2021, indicating the party’s cadre had not stayed away.

Voting began at 7 am across the assembly segment, except at two booths where it was delayed due to ballot unit error. Residents in Kaanai protested the shutting of stores selling essential goods till shops were allowed to operate under police protection.

Around 11 am, a 47-year-old woman, Kanimozhi, was assaulted by her ex-husband Elumalai (52) while waiting in queue at the booth in T Kosapalayam village. Villupuram SP Deepak Siwach said she was admitted to a private hospital. Elumalai was taken into custody.

PMK cadre and police got into an argument around 4 pm when the party’s candidate C Anbumani was stopped from entering the Kakkanur polling booth. Once polls closed, ballot units were sealed and sent to strong rooms at the Panaiyapuram Government Higher Secondary School.

While DMK was expected to win the seat, the ruling party faced a major setback in the form of the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy. The PMK and NTK centred their campaign on alleged law and order failures of the state. The DMK, meanwhile, went all out, fielding over 10 ministers to campaign.

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