Polling peaceful barring minor incidents
COIMBATORE: Barring some minor incidents of skirmishes between DMK and AIADMK cadres and protests over lack of adequate facilities in polling booths, the bypoll for Erode East Assembly constituency passed off peacefully on Monday.
An elderly woman, aged around 70 years, swooned while standing in a queue to vote in the blazing heat at Kamarajar Corporation School in Karungalpalayam forcing a group of electorate led by SDPI cadre to protest. They squatted on the road in front of the polling station around noon condemning the long delay in the voting process.
The protesters also complained over lack of adequate basic facilities, including drinking water, wheel chair facility and shelter for the voters. They however withdrew the protest after talks by police and election department officials.
In another incident, the DMK and AIADMK cadres broke into a heated quarrel over allegations of indulging in canvassing of votes among the electorate within 100 metres of the polling booth at Perianna Street. Police intervened and insisted on the cadres of both parties, who had gathered in large numbers to leave the spot.
At Ashokapuram area, the AIADMK raised complaints of cash distribution by the DMK, however the officials inspected the spot and dismissed it as baseless. When queried on distribution of money to voters, AIADMK candidate KS Thennarasu said that he did not receive any information on money distribution.
More than 3,000 police personnel roped in from various districts and paramilitary forces were deployed across the Erode East constituency to maintain law and order. Intensified monitoring was maintained at 32 sensitive booths out of the total 238 in the constituency.
Polling was suspended for around half an hour in two polling centres in Veerappanchatram and Stone Bridge area as EVMs developed some snag after the commencement of voting process. Polling resumed after technical experts set right the issues in the EVMs.
Meanwhile, AIADMK ex-MLA IS Inbadurai raised a complaint with the Election Commission that the indelible ink can be wiped off easily.
Their party candidate KS Thennarasu said there may be some issues and their party leadership has already lodged a complaint on the quality of ink. Election Returning Officer K Sivakumar, however said that only the specially made ink for polls has been used. “I checked with a few voters and didn’t find any issue in it,” he said.
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