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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Thondamuthur witnesses peaceful and moderate polling

V.S. Palaniappan

Live monitoring of voting process in all 393 polling stations

Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

Electronic eye: A laptop with web camera being installed at a polling station at Ganapathy for recording the voting process in the by-election to the Thondamuthur Assembly constituency in Coimbatore on Tuesday. —

Coimbatore: Polling was moderate and peaceful in the by-elections to the Thondamuthur Assembly Constituency on Tuesday and there were no reports of any violence or untoward incidents till evening.

A heavy turn out of voters during the initial hours was largely reported in rural areas while urban electorate trickled into the polling stations in a scattered manner averting scenes of long queues.


Poll machinery reported an average polling of 58.16 per cent at 5 p.m.

The Constituency with 393 polling stations had 1,71,270 male voters and 1,67,970 female voters (total electorate 3,41,240) and the Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) coverage was 99.6 per cent in the constituency.

More than 90 per cent voters turned up with EPIC and very rarely voters turned up with other proofs, presiding officers said. Total votes polled was 1,98,461.


Despite repeated announcements and awareness generated by the poll authorities on the choice for exercising the 49 (O) option in the event of their not wanting to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, only a few opted for the same in the urban and peripheral polling stations.

The salient feature of the polling this time was live monitoring of the polling process in all the 393 polling stations with webcams on lap tops and SMS updates to the CEO’s office once every hour till 3 p.m. and every half-an-hour at 3.30 p.m. by the Booth Level Officers (BLOs).

Both these new features worked well enabling constant monitoring and timely updates, said District Election Officer and Collector P. Umanath along with the Returning Officer and District Revenue Officer, S. Murthy.

The broad band connectivity worked well in many booths, while zonal officers received a few complaints of snag in connectivity at a few remote and far flung places.

Poll machinery officials clarified that in such places there were sufficient arrangements for video graphing the entire polling process and the Compact Discs (CDs) were being given to the Observer.

All zonal officers and quick reaction teams of the police were equipped with video cameras making the vigil of the electronic eye, a must.

With the poll machinery treating the entire constituency as a sensitive one since it happened to be a by election and some of the areas were treated as hypersensitive and unprecedented security cover was thrown in and around the polling stations in a constituency that was spread over ten police station limits coming under the Coimbatore City and Rural Police.

Karnataka State Reserve Police personnel were also roped in for poll bandobust duty at many places.

The police were seen checking the vehicles entering the constituency on all arterial and feeder roads to prevent movement of money, freebies and liquor for luring the electorate and party workers.

No complaints

Complaints such as en mass deletion or removal of names from electoral rolls were not heard this year and also complaints of using vehicles to bring voters to the polling booths.

Dr.Umanath and Mr.Murthy said that highest polling was reported from a hill area Palamalai i.e., 83.5 per cent and lowest was reported from KK Pudur in Sai Baba Colony i.e., 28.9 per cent.

There had not been even a single incident of violence or clashes, the officials said.

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