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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 2: Tamil Nadu sees turnout of 62.65% till 3 pm, DMK alleges AIADMK planned 'booth-capturing'

Chennai: Tamil Nadu reported 62.65 percent voter turnout till 7 pm in phase two of the Lok Sabha election, even as the DMK charged the ruling AIADMK with planning to do "booth-capturing" later in the day.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said no reports of booth capturing or any other untoward incident regarding law and order has been received so far.

 Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 2: Tamil Nadu sees turnout of 62.65% till 3 pm, DMK alleges AIADMK planned booth-capturing

Voters in Chennai on Thursday, April 18, 2019. PTI

Meanwhile, the DMK filed a complaint with the CEO and the DGP (Elections), Ashutosh Shukla, alleging that the ruling AIADMK planned to do "booth-capturing" after 3 pm. They demanded that the officials put in all measures to ensure transparent elections.

Responding to this, Sahoo said polling has been peaceful so far. "We have not received any report of booth capturing, neither are there any law and order issues," he said.

Earlier, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DMK chief MK Stalin waited in queues at Edappadi in Salem district and Chennai, respectively and cast their votes. After casting his vote, Stalin alleged that there has been distribution of cash and accused the Election Commission of being an "ally" of central and state governments.

Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, DMK's Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi and Karti Chidambaram of Congress are among key contenders.

Radhakrishnan told reporters in Kanyakumari, "This is a massive democratic festival which will decide the fate of India. I have exercised my franchise...A silent revolution is happening."

AIADMK leader and state minister D Jayakumar said 13 percent voting in the morning "is a joyous thing."

"This shows there is a wave for Amma and MGR," he said, exuding confidence that the AIADMK-BJP combine would emerge victorious.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran alleged "malfunctioning of EVMs is an achievement of the Modi government."

CPI national secretary D Raja expressed confidence that people were voting for the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu as they wanted to see the end of the BJP government at the Centre.

Dayanidhi Maran voted here along with his family members.

Besides 38 of the total 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state, excluding Vellore, bypolls to 18 assembly segments are also underway. Polling stations were teeming with enthusiastic voters even before 7 AM when polling began and the Chief Minister was among the early electors in his native Salem district.

While senior Congress leader P Chidambaram voted at Kandanur in Sivaganga district, Dhinakaran execised his franchise along with his family in Chennai. Top actor Rajinikanth and popular stars Vijay and Ajith Kumar voted in Chennai.

BJP's Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundararjan and actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan also cast their votes. DMDK chief Vijayakanth, his wife and party leader Premalatha and Pattali Makkal Katchi chief S Ramadoss voted in Chennai and Tindivanam respectively.

The state's electorate is 5.84-crore (after deducting the 14.26 lakh voters in Vellore) strong.

Adequate security arrangements, with the deployment of over 160 companies of central police forces and one lakh state police personnel, have been made.

In the run-up to the polls, election authorities had seized over Rs 129-crore cash, gold and other precious metals with a total value of over Rs 284 crore from all over the state.

Tamil Nadu has a total of 67,720 polling stations and 7,780 booths have been categorised as critical and vulnerable where more Central Armed Police Forces personnel, and micro-observers were deployed.

Measures like webcasting and videographing of proceedings are also in place. As many as 1,50,302 ballot units, 89,160 control units and 94,653 VVPAT which allows the electors to cross check the votes they have cast for seven seconds are available.

Every constituency has one all-woman polling station. While polling is being held between 7 AM and 6 PM in 37 constituencies, it has been extended by two hours until 8 PM in Madurai Lok Sabha segment, due to the Chithirai festival, which marks the grand entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the Vaigai river.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2019 20:04:29 IST