2019 Lok Sabha polls: TN records good voter turnout amid faulty EVMs

Chennai: Despite going to polls on Thursday amidst complaints of faulty EVMs and names of few actors missing from electoral rolls, Tamil Nadu has registered good voter turnout with a tentative of 72 per cent. Polling has nevertheless been peaceful and brisk since morning, and there has been no major law and order incidents but for a 'minor' police firing at Ranipet in neighbouring Vellore district. There was however no injuries in the firing incident.

"As a large number of people gathered at Kezha Visaram in Ranipet, possibly to vote, a CRPF personnel fired one round in the air. But no one was injured. But for this there was no major law and order incident in the State," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said and added that situation was well under control.

Though faulty EVMs delayed polls in certain areas, the EC officials managed to replace 375 ballot units, and 228 control units besides 776 VVPATs during the day and ensured the casting of votes. "This is mere 0.33 per cent of ballot and 0.34 per cent of control units besides 1.16 per cent of VVPATs changed during the polls. This is possibly the lowest in India," the CEO pointed out and added the EVMs were replaced within half-an-hour. The trends indicated that the turnout may reach 73 per cent polled during the 2014 Lok Sabha election in the state or may exceed, he added.

Men and women turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise and around 11 am the State had registered 30.62 per cent polling and by 6 pm the 38 Lok Sabha constituencies barring Vellore where election was rescinded, had registered 69.55 per cent polling. All the 18 Assembly constituencies that went for polls simultaneously had recorded 71.62 per cent. At Erode, polling was delayed by an hour due to faulty EVMs. As per the 6 pm figures, Namakkal Lok Sabha constituency registered the highest poll percentage of 78, followed by Chidambaram: 76.03, Kallakurichi: 75.18 and Arani: 75.08, while Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency polled the lowest percentage of 57.05 in the state.

The CEO denied any information of booth capturing as alleged by the DMK and said polling has been incident-free in the State.

Actor Srikanth who turned for voting here, got the shock of his life when he couldn't find his name in the rolls despite possessing EPIC. "The poll official helped me. I am happy to vote. I still don't understand how my name went missing from the electoral roll," he said displaying his EPIC provided by the Election Commission of India. Like him, actors: Sivakarthikeyan, Robo Shankar and Ramesh Kanna could not find their names on the rolls initially.

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