- Tamil Nadu registered poll percentage of 60.70 pc urban local bodies election on Feb 19
- Greater Chennai Corporation registered lowest turnout of 43.59 per cent
- Karur polled the maximum of 75.84 pc on Saturday, according to Tamil Nadu State Election Commission
Tamil Nadu registered a poll percentage of 60.70 per cent in the February 19 urban local bodies election that witnessed an interesting multi-cornered contest with the constituents of the opposition AIADMK alliance contesting on their respective party’s own strengths, rather than remaining together, against the DMK combine.
Among the 21 corporations, which went to polls, the Greater Chennai Corporation registered the lowest turnout of 43.59 per cent while Karur polled the maximum of 75.84 per cent on Saturday, according to the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC).
While polling on Saturday was brisk in town panchayats and municipalities, in corporation it was sluggish.
The single-phase election was held to fill up 12,838 posts in 21 corporations, 138 municipalities, 490 town panchayats and 649 urban local bodies in the state. A total of 74,416 candidates including many independents entered the fray.
Among the municipalities, Dharmapuri registered an impressive turnout of 81.37 per cent and Nilgiris recorded the lowest voter turnout of 59.98 per cent, the SEC said.
Madurai recorded 52.73 per cent turnout while Tiruppur district registered overall polling of 60.66 per cent and the Coimbatore corporation recorded 55.81 per cent polling.
On the whole, the town panchayats and municipalities recorded a good voter turnout of 74.68 per cent and 68.22 per cent respectively, while the highly urbanised corporations saw a low turnout of 52.22 per cent.
Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, C Sylendra Babu while speaking to news agency IANS said, "Polling was by and large peaceful barring a few minor incidents. Patrolling and police pickets helped in maintaining law and order in the state during the elections. The elections this time were much more peaceful compared to the last Urban polls. Cameras were installed not only at booths but in surrounding areas as well."
He said that in the previous Urban polls, six murders had taken place in the state and this election was comparatively very peaceful.
The two Dravidian majors, the ruling DMK and the opposition AIADMK raised allegations and counter-allegations stating that money and gifts were distributed to voters to ensure ballots.
The AIADMK has raised a complaint with the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission alleging booth capture by the DMK and demanded re-polling at 26 booths in the corporation.
In Cuddalore town, there was a minor issue when a group of people demanded voting rights after the scheduled 5:00 pm and police used mild force to disperse the crowd.
The electoral fortunes of the candidates of various political parties and independents, as well, will be known on February 22 when the SEC takes up the counting of votes.
Counting of votes will take place at 268 centres across the state.
The local body elections in TN were held after more than a decade.
(With agencies inputs)