Rural local body polls: Nearly 26% voter turnout by 11 a.m.

Polling for the second phase on Saturday began peacefully; Villupuram registered the highest morning turn-out at 32.41%

Nearly 26 per cent of electors, numbering around nine lakh, exercised their franchise during the second phase of polling for elections to rural local bodies in nine districts. This was the position as at 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to the TN State Election Commission.

The polling for the second phase, which is reportedly going on peacefully, is taking place for a total of 12,341 posts, which cover members of 62 district panchayat wards, 626 panchayat union wards and 10,329 village panchayat wards besides 1,324 village panchayat presidents.

Villupuram has registered the highest turn-out so far at 32.41%. Voting began at over 2,300 polling booths amid tight security. Polling was brisk with people turning up in large numbers. There were long queues, especially of women, at most polling stations since morning.

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Kallakurichi with 29.1% and Tenkasi with 26.67% were the other two districts where the voter turn out exceeded 25%. The numbers for the remaining six districts were 26.07% in Chengalpattu; 25.28% in Kancheepuram; 24.23% in Vellore;22.89% in Tirunelveli; 22.19% in Ranipet and 12.13% in Tirupathur.

In Kallakurichi, adequate security has been posted at 52 polling booths, classified as sensitive, according to District Collector-Election Officer P.N. Sridhar.

By-elections to 424 posts of the rural local bodies in 28 other districts saw about 3.8 lakh persons, accounting for 31.53% of the electors casting their votes. Permbalur, where the by-elections are going on for three village panchayat wards, recorded 41.51% turnout. The other two top districts were: Karur – 39,15% and Tiruchi – 37.38%

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