Published: 18th April 2019
Lok Sabha 2019: TN falls way short of 2014 voter turnout with 56% till 5 pm, Chennai staggers at 44%
AIADMK spokesperson and advocate R M Babu Murugavel filed separate complaints with the ECI against DMK leaders M K Stalin and Dayanidhi Maran
About 55.45 per cent of the total 5.84 crore electorate have exercised their franchise till 5 pm as the single-phase polling for 38 Lok Sabha constituencies and a by-election to 18 Assembly seats began in Tamil Nadu at 7 am on Thursday. This falls way short of the voter turnout in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections in the state — 73.67 per cent.
Karur (67.11%) and Namakkal (65.13%) registered the highest voter turnout in the state while Chennai south staggered at a 41. 6 per cent, the lowest in the state. Chennai Central (45.86%) and Chennai North (44.08%) also did not fare too well.
AIADMK spokesperson and advocate R M Babu Murugavel filed separate complaints with the ECI against DMK leaders M K Stalin and Dayanidhi Maran. In his complaint against Stalin, Murugavel said that while addressing the media after casting his vote here, the DMK chief with an intention to "divert the mindset of the voters" had made "false and frivolous allegations" against the BJP government at the Centre and the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.
Murugavel alleged that Stalin wanted them to "vote against central and state governments." "It is a clear indication to the voters to cast their votes in his alliance's favour. It is a clear violation of the model code of conduct (MCC)," he added.
In a separate complaint, Murugavel alleged that Maran addressed the press after casting his vote and said: "he voted for change of government" and he "request" the people also to do so. Murugavel urged the ECI to take necessary action against the former Union minister by issuing a show-cause notice and filing a case against him. Maran is contesting from the Central Chennai constituency.
Asked about the delay in polling process due to technical glitches earlier in the day in several polling booths, Chief Electoral Officer, Styabrata Sahoo said the problems were being attended to immediately.
More than 300 EVMs have been changed to replace the faulty ones. ''Polling is going on peacefully'', he added. About voters not having booth slips to cast their vote, Sahoo said, ''Even if they did not have booth slips, they could vote by showing any one of the identity documents specified by the EC if their name is in the voters' list''.
Though there were 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State, elections are being held only for 38 seats after the Election Commission (EC) rescinded the polling for the Vellore seat following the seizure of a large amount of cash.
Simultaneous polling was also commenced for the 18 of 22 vacant Assembly seats in the state, that would decide the fortunes of the ruling AIADMK, whose stability hinges on the outcome of the polls. The bypoll for the remaining four seats would be held on May 19. Moderate to brisk polling was reported across the state, as people queued up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right.