Live: 63.7% turnout in Tamil Nadu till 3 pm, EC may extend polling time

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Live: 63.7% turnout in Tamil Nadu till 3 pm, EC may extend polling time
  • 16:51 (IST)

    Voter verifiable trail introduced in 17 constituencies

    Chennai:  Voters in some assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu were in for a surprise on Monday as they were able to see the actual recording of their vote in another machine.

    "One often doubts as to whether, after using an electronic voting machine, one's vote actually went to the party one intended to vote," Lita Srinivasan, an advocate, said.

    The Anna Nagar constituency in Chennai is one of 17 assembly constituencies where the Election Commission has installed what it calls the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system.

    IANS

  • 16:29 (IST)

    Puducherry records 71.08% turnout till 4 pm

    Puducherry: Picking up pace rapidly, the Union Territory of Puducherry recorded 71.08 per cent voting till about 4 pm. At 11.30 am, it had been just 30 per cent, ElectionCommission officials said.


    The UT comprises Puducherry and its enclaves Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe and Karaikal. There are 9.41 lakh voters of whom 4.94 lakh are women.


    The EC officials said Puducherry registered 72.21 per cent polling, Karaikal 65.49 per cent, Mahe 64.83 per cent and Yanam 77.63 per cent.

    Rains in Puducherry did not affect polling. 344 contestants, including 96 Independents, are in the fray for election on the 30 Assembly seats in the UT. 

    PTI

  • 16:23 (IST)

    63.7% turnout till 3 p.m in TN

    As per the latest numbers, the Tamil Nadu election has seen a 63.7% turnout till 3 p.m.

  • 16:06 (IST)

    Polling officer dies of heart attack in booth in Tamil Nadu

    A 54-year old polling officer died of a massive heart attack in a booth in Kangeyam Assembly constituency while two elderly voters in Madurai and Sivaganga collapsed and died near polling booths in Tamil Nadu today, police said, as per a report by PTI.

  • 16:01 (IST)

    Tribal voters in Nilgiris withdraw decision to boycott polls

    Nearly 600 tribal voters in Naganpalli in hilly Nilgiris district withdrew their decision to boycott the assembly elections over pending demand for house site as district officials persuaded them to take part in the democratic exercise.

    The tribals, whose village comes under Mudumalai Tiger Reserve forest area, were upset that their demand for an alternative house site was not met by the successive governments and decided to boycott today's polls.

    On receiving information that none of them turned up for voting till 9.30 am, officials rushed to the village and convinced the tribals to cast their votes, police said.

    The population, comprising Irulas, Paniyas and Kattunaickens tribes were promised alternative land, as they were living in thatched houses, without power, safe drinking water and other basic amenities, police said. - PTI

  • 15:36 (IST)

    Stalin demands CBI probe into alleged cash distribution

    DMK treasurer M K Stalin demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged money distribution in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies where the election have been postponed. 

    Stalin alleged that a senior minister including Chief Minister Jayalalithaa were involved in the irregularities. The Hindu quoted Stalin as saying, "It must investigate money transfer in all places because only a proper investigation will bring out the truth." 

  • 15:33 (IST)

    ANI reports that Puducherry recorded a 67% voter turnout till 3 pm.

  • 15:19 (IST)

    All cards in?

    For the first time, Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK has put up candidates in all 234 seats.

    Although some of the candidates belong to alliance parties but they all have agreed to contest using Jaya's electoral symbol of two leaves.

  • 14:55 (IST)

    Poll time in Tamil Nadu could be extended

    Rajesh Lahoni, Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu, said that eight districts have seen heavy rain in Tamil Nadu. "We have recommended to extend poll time. We are expecting ECI nod by 3 pm," ANI quoted him as saying.

  • 13:41 (IST)

    42.1% polling till 1 pm in Tamil Nadu

    Tamil Nadu recorded 42.1 percent polling till 1 pm, Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni said. "Chennai recorded 38 percent voting till 1 pm, which is good and still there is time till evening," he said, adding, authorities expected a good turnout.

    Meanwhile, officials said power supply, which had hampered voting, was restored in Royapuram and Harbour Assembly constituencies in Chennai.

    "In Harbour constituency there was power cut for 10 minutes. Now it is fine, polling was not stopped," an official said.

    Earlier, Lakhoni had said voting was hampered in some districts due to heavy rains and appropriate recommendations would be made on extending voting time in rain-affected areas.

    Moderate to heavy rains in parts of Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchirappalli, Cuddalore, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts had hampered polling.

    In Chennai, Pulianthope area was also affected.

    Lakhoni had said the rains resulted in power cuts in some areas and some problems but the polling process would continue.

    "A decision on extending voting time would be taken after considering the situation between 1 PM to 2 PM and if needed, appropriate recommendations would be made to the higher EC authorities," he had said.

    Lakhoni had also said there were some glitches in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail in 17 constituencies which were addressed.

    Meanwhile, two groups clashed in a polling booth at Kamudi in Ramanathapuram district and an Electronic Voting Machine was pushed off a table during the spat, police said.

    Police intervened and dispersed both groups. Polling resumed after half-an-hour break.

    A report from Ariyalur district said a 38-year-old woman was struck dead by lightning when she was returning home after casting her vote in Pudukodi.

    PTI

  • 13:32 (IST)

    In Ramanathapuram, the polling percentage was between 20-21 percent and in Salem, Namakkal and Tiruvallur more than 30 percent, he added.

    "First time voters are enthusiastically standing in queues to vote. There are no reports of any violence or law or order issue anywhere in Tamil Nadu," a top election official said.

    To a question, he said there were some glitches in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in 17 constituencies, which has been addressed. - PTI

  • 13:18 (IST)

    Polling underway in Puducherry

  • 13:13 (IST)

    15 million people voted in TN in first four hours: Officials

    Nearly 15 million people voted on Monday in the first four hours of polling to pick a new Tamil Nadu assembly, officials said, according to IANS.

  • 13:12 (IST)

    Members of transgender community cast vote

  • 12:56 (IST)

    Newly married bride casts her vote in TN

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Villagers in Puducherry protest against alleged assault on youth by police

    Tension prevailed in a booth in Sorapet village in Tirubhuvanai reserved constituency when a group of villagers registered strong protest against the alleged assault of a local youth by a police officer.

    They alleged that the officer dragged out the youth from his house for possessing a bunch of voters slips.

    However, police sources denied the allegation and said that the police were only asking the volunteers of political parties to remain beyond the 100 metre limit.

    There was no disruption of polling in the booth, election commission officials said.

    Rains in Puducherry did not affect the polling. - PTI

  • 12:39 (IST)

    DMK-Congress alliance will get good majority: Chidambaram

    Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram exuded confidence that the DMK-Congress alliance will get a good majority and form the next government in Tamil Nadu.

    "The alliance of DMK, Congress and others will for sure get a good majority. A regime change will happen. I am totally confident that a DMK government will be formed," he told reporters in Karaikudi after casting his vote.

    Chidambaram also charged the Election Commission with "failing to check distribution of money by AIADMK".

    "Election Commission has failed in checking distribution of money by AIADMK men in Tamil Nadu. The AIDMK men had distributed money at several places," he alleged.

    "Information I am getting for the past 10 ten days confirmed money distribution," he added.

    Though he welcomed flying squad raids and vehicle checks, he said they have "not prevented the distribution of money for votes and taking money for votes".

    He said polls in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies could have been nullified after today's elections instead of postponing it to 23 May. - PTI

  • 12:24 (IST)

    Over 30% turnout recorded in Puducherry till 11.30 am

    Over 30 percent of the voters have cast their ballot in Puducherry where polling is underway to elect the 30-member assembly, the Election Commission said. - IANS

  • 12:18 (IST)

    No comments: Rajinikanth on allegations of distribution of money

    Asked about allegations of distribution of money and postponement of elections, Rajinikanth merely said, "No comments".

    Another veteran actor Kamal Haasan said, "Higher the polling percentage, it is good for democracy and my feeling too is that it should be higher."

    Asked who should come to power, he said, "good people".

    Actor Ajith Kumar, hailed as "Thala" (leader), cast his vote along with wife Shalini. Actor-turned-politician Kushboo and her actor-director husband Sundar C also cast their votes.

    Comedian Vivek, actors Prabhu, Sivakarthikevyan, Jeeva, Meena, lyricist Vairamuthu too exercised their franchise.

    Actor-turned politician and chief of Nam Tamizhar Katchi, Seeman, said those who distributed money were "sinners," and asked all the people to exercise their franchise. - PTI

  • 12:12 (IST)

    Heavy rains reported in a few parts of Tamil Nadu

    Rajesh Lahoni, Chief Electoral Officer in Tamil Nadu, said that heavy rains have been reported in few parts including the coastal regions of Nafapattinam and Cuddalore districts of the state, reported ANI. "We have talked to district collectors about extending poll time in rain affected districts and then we'll inform ECI. The decision will be taken after 3 pm," he said.

  • 11:48 (IST)

    DMK women's wing secretary and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi casts her vote at a polling booth in Chennai.

  • 11:41 (IST)

    According to ANI, Rs 570 crore were seized  from containers by election commission during raids in Tamil Nadu.

  • 11:38 (IST)

    25.2% voters turnout recorded till 11 am

  • 11:33 (IST)

    TN votes in large numbers amid rains in Chennai

    According to TV reports, voters lined up at polling booths early in the morning.

    The first two hours marked brisk polling across the state and rains brought down the heat weather in many places helping the voters to turn in large numbers.

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Over 10% voter turnout recorded in Puducherry till 9.00 am

    Over 10 percent of the total voters cast their ballots in Puducherry where polling is underway to elect the 30-member assembly, said the Election Commission.

    At 9.00 am, just over 10 percent of over 9.4 lakh voters have cast their votes.

    However the rains in Karaikal region has impacted the polling, an election commission official said. - IANS

  • 10:56 (IST)

    We have done our duty: Kamal Haasan

  • 10:55 (IST)

    Disqualify those facing bribery charges: BJP, CPI(M)

    BJP and CPI(M) demanded that candidates facing money distribution allegations in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies, where elections have been postponed, should be disqualified.

    BJP Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan said, "I cannot agree that irregularities have happened only in these two (Aravakurichi, Thanjavur) constituencies when such an ambience was widely prevalent."

    "Are not the candidates who distributed money going to fight polls again?" she told reporters in Chennai, adding, "candidates in such constituencies should be disqualified".

    Speaking to reporters after casting her vote, she said that fresh candidates should be nominated in such seats and polls may be held even after a month there. She urged the Election Commission to have a more robust and functional machinery to halt distribution of money.

    CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said despite efforts of the Election Commission, "unprecedented money distribution has happened".

    He said candidates in such constituencies where cash distribution has been reported should rather be disqualified.

    "Disqualify them and that will be correct and a good precedent," he told reporters in reference to  constituencies like Aravakurichi and Thanjavur. - PTI

  • 10:34 (IST)

    Voting began on a dull note in southern districts in Tamil Nadu, say officials

    Polling began on a dull note in the southern districts with incessant rains preventing the voters from coming out, officials said. There was not much queue in most of the polling booth, officials said but expressed hope that the polling would pick up once the rains stopped.

    There were reports of polling machines going out of order in Tirunelveli and Theni districts but they were replaced and the polling began.

    In Madurai, a voter, who was more than 100 years old voted with the help of his grand sons.

    A minor skirmish was reported between the DMK and ADMK cadres in Viralimalai constituency where the AIADMK leader Vijayabaskar was pitted against Palaniappan. - PTI

  • 10:25 (IST)

    Kamal Haasan casts his vote

  • 10:18 (IST)

    EC not doing enough, CBI probe needed: Kanimozhi on allegations of bribery

    DMK leader and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi cast her vote in Tamil Nadu and said that the Election Commission had not taken enough action against those accused of distributing money to voters.

    "DMK has been consistently saying that there is a lot of distirubtion of money to voters. EC has taken action in a few places. But this is happening on a large scale. EC has not done much about it. They should've done much more," she told reporters. "Rs 570 crore has been caught. It doesn't look like EC is really probing to find answers. If CBI inquiry is the only way out, we should do that," she added.

    However, when asked about what she thought about the fact that allegations of bribery had been made against DMK leaders too, Kanimozhi gave a different answer. "We really don't know. There could be other explanations also. But we're not trying to protect anybody," she said.

  • 10:10 (IST)

    Senior citizens cast their vote

  • 10:08 (IST)

    Judgement of the people in two days: Jayalalithaa

  • 09:58 (IST)

    Jayalalithaa casts her vote

  • 09:52 (IST)

    Vijayakanth casts his vote

  • 09:38 (IST)

    Special arrangements made for differently-abled people

    Voters turned up in good numbers early in the morning to cast their votes and queues were seen in many booths.

    The Election Commission had made elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polling. Special arrangements to help the differently-abled persons to vote without any difficulty were also in place. These included wheelchairs for such persons with volunteers to take them inside and outside the polling booths. - PTI

  • 09:26 (IST)

    18.3 percent turnout recorded in Tamil Nadu till 9 am

    According to ANI, 18.3 percent voter turnout was recorded in Tamil Nadu till 9 am.

  • 09:24 (IST)

    Details of the political battle in Puducherry

    Voters turned up at the booths in Puducherry armed with Electoral Photo Identity cards as well as voter slips issued by the election authorities.

    Important candidates in the fray are Chief Minister and AINRC founder N Rangasamy seeking re-election from Indira Nagar segment, Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister V Vaithilingam (Congress) seeking to retain Kamaraj Nagar segment, PCC leader A Namassivayam seeking to retain Villianoor and Speaker of Puducherry Assembly V Sabapathy contesting again from Ariyankuppam.

    Four cabinet colleagues of Rangasamy — PR Siva, T Thiagarajan, P Rajavelu and NG Panneerselvam are seeking to retain their respective seats as AINRC nominees.

    Rangasamy's other cabinet colleague, M Chandrakasu has opted out of the poll battle citing health reasons. But his daughter Chandrapriyanka is contesting as AINRC nominee in Neduncadu reserved segment in Karaikal.

    Former Home Minister P Kannan, who joined AIADMK in February this year after quitting Congress, is crossing swords in Raj Bhavan segment with Congress nominee and former Education Minister K Lakshminarayanan.

    Of all the constituencies, Oulgaret segment has the maximum number of 17 candidates.

    AINRC, BJP and PMK are going it alone in the polls while Congress and DMK have firmed up an alliance. While Congress is contesting from 21 segments, DMK is contesting the rest.

    Former Health Minister E Valsaraj and former Revenue Minister Malladi Krishna Rao (both Congress) are seeking to retain Mahe (an enclave in Kerala) and Yanam (an enclave in Andhra Pradesh) constituencies respectively.

    For the first time Voters Verifiable Print Audit Trail machines are being used in three of the 30 segments — Uppalam, Orleanpet in Puducherry and Karaikal (south). There are 930 polling stations in the Union Territory. - PTI

  • 08:54 (IST)

    Rains have slowed down the voting in some places

    Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and in some places in southern districts are experiencing rains which in turn has slowed down the voting.

    There were also reports of malfunctioning of voting machines in some places.

    In Chennai, voting is progressing at a brisk pace. - IANS

  • 08:53 (IST)

    Voting is everyone's duty: Rajinikanth

  • 08:44 (IST)

    Stalin casts his vote

  • 08:43 (IST)

    MK Stalin votes with wife and son

    According to reports, DMK leader MK Stalin cast his vote with his wife and son and said that DMK will win in all the 234 seats in Tamil Nadu.

  • 08:19 (IST)

    Jaya asks voters to 'reject those who challenge the values of democracy'

    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa asked people to turn out and vote in large numbers. "Reject those who challenge the values of democracy… who spoil the truth for temporary gains and vested interests," Indian Express quoted the CM as saying.

    The report further said that Jayalalithaa had earlier in a three-page letter to her party cadres reminded them of DMK's "dynasty politics" and "massive corruption" during the DMK regime in the past.

  • 08:11 (IST)

    PM Modi urges people to vote

  • 08:09 (IST)

    #TNVotes top trend on Twitter

  • 08:05 (IST)

    Karunanidhi addresses the issue of voters being bribed

    DMK chief M Karunanidhi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gopalapuram in Chennai. "We will win enough number of seats. Our winning prospects are bright," ANI quoted him as saying.

    He also addressed the complaints of voters being bribed in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur. "Money distribution is curbed to a level, but there are incidents of cash transfer through trucks..People have question in their mind if Election Commission will initiate action against them," he further said.

  • 07:59 (IST)

    Rajinikanth casts his vote in Chennai

    According to Times Now, superstar Rajinikanth cast his vote in Chennai for the state polls.

  • 07:50 (IST)

    Voting begins in Tamil Nadu

Voting for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry began at 7 am on Monday.

Polling to 232 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu that will decide the fate of over 3700 candidates, including chief minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, commenced at 7 am.

Electronic Voting Machines across 65,000-odd polling booths were opened for around 5.50 crore voters to cast their votes.

Over one lakh security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful elections.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Though Tamil Nadu has 234 assembly seats across 32 districts, polling is being held only for 232 as the Election Commission has postponed it for 23 May in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur segments following complaints of voters being bribed.

Besides Jayalalithaa (RK Nagar) and Karunanidhi (Thiruvarur), a host of leaders including DMDK founder Vijayakanth and PMK's Anbumani Ramadoss, both Chief Ministerial candidates, MK Stalin (DMK), H Raja and Tamilisai Sounderrajan of the BJP are in fray.

A total of 1,11,958 police personnel, including 21,780 para military personnel, would be involved in the election duty.

Moreover, the Tamil Nadu Labour department has set up control rooms in all 32 districts of the state to receive complaints of any violation by companies and commercial establishments in granting paid holiday to workers tomorrow to enable them cast their votes in the assembly elections.

With the aim of 100 percent voting, orders have been issued to commercial establishments to give paid holiday to their workers tomorrow under Sec 135 of the Representation of the People Act to facilitate all eligible voters to exercise their franchise, a Labour department release said.

Announcing the details of state and district-level control rooms with mobile telephone numbers, it said complaints could be lodged with Labour Commissioners on these numbers in case paid holiday was not granted on Monday.

The details were available on the department website labour.tn.gov.in, the release said.

The state is seeing a multi-cornered contest.

Tamil-nadu

The ruling AIADMK is going to the polls aligning with a couple of smaller outfits fielding its candidates in 227 seats and the balance seven has been given to its allies.

The DMK has aligned with the Congress, two Muslim parties and some smaller outfits.

The third front led by the DMDK comprises the CPI-M, CPI, VCK, TMC and MDMK under its fold.

The PMK is going it alone while BJP has aligned with few smaller parties.

Though the fight is mainly between the AIADMK and the DMK, the polls might through up a surprise element as well.

Meanwhile, polling also began to elect the 30-member assembly in Puducherry at 7 am on Monday.

Over 9.4 lakh voters are expected to exercise their democratic right of voting to elect their representatives.

A total of 344 candidates are in the fray.

The main fight is between the Congress-DMK combine and the ruling All India NR Congress (AINRC).

The AIADMK — the ruling party in Tamil Nadu — is going it alone in Puducherry.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: May 16, 2016 04:25 pm | Updated Date: May 16, 2016 04:51 pm


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