Over 77 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the R K Nagar bye-election on Thursday. The results of the election, which passed off peacefully at 258 booths, will be declared on December 24.
The RK Nagar assembly seat fell vacant following the death of the AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in December last year.
Radhakrishnan Nagar, which has an electorate strength of 2,28,234, saw a total of 1,77,074 people cast their vote. Out of 1,10,903 men, 1,17, 232 women and 99 transgenders in the constituency which Jayalalithaa represented twice, 84,195 men, 92,862 women and 17 transgenders cast their votes.
The polling, which began at 8 am, saw serpentine queues at polling booths, with women outnumbering men in several of them. A large number of people were awaiting their turn to vote even after the 5 pm deadline.
Officials gave tokens to all those who were present inside the polling stations before 5 pm to ensure that they exercised their franchise.
During the polling, some people complained that their names were deleted and some claimed their names were wrongly struck off from the rolls. There were also complaints of EVMs in a few booths developing snags.
As many as 59 candidates are in the fray, including the BJP, but it is mainly being seen as a fight between the AIADMK, its rival faction led by Dinakaran and DMK. The key contenders are ruling AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh and sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran, who is contesting as an Independent. Madhusudhanan and Ganesh, both party veterans, are residents of the constituency.
The bypoll is being seen as an litmus test for the AIADMK, as it is the first election since Jayalalithaa’s death and after it got the Two Leaves election symbol back following merger of factions led by chief minister K Palaniswami and his present deputy and former rebel O Panneerselvem.
A total of 2500 state police personnel, 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 1638 election officers were deployed at the polling booths to avoid any kind of disturbance.
(With PTI inputs)