PUDUCHERRY: Nearly 10% polling was witnessed in the first two-and-a-half hours of byelection to the Kamaraj Nagar constituency in the Union Territory of Puducherry on Monday.
Though the region experienced intermittent showers when the polling started at 7 am, people kept coming to the booths in small numbers. But as the rain stopped by around 8.30 am, people started gathering in large numbers.
The Kamaraj Nagar seat had fallen vacant after former Speaker and Congress legislator V. Vaithilingam resigned following his election to the Lok Sabha from the Puducherry Parliamentary constituency in May.
Ravin, an engineering student with a private engineering college, was one among the first to exercise his franchise at the Tamil Sangham polling booth in Kamaraj Nagar constituency.
“The election authorities have made arrangements for the people to cast their votes. Besides, all the candidates have come to our locality seeking votes. So, I thought of exercising my democratic responsibility before leaving for college,” he told mediapersons.
Security was tightened at seven vulnerable booths by deploying personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces, besides men from the territorial police.
According to Sub- Collector Sudhakar, a mock exercise was carried out from 5.30 am and polling started at 7 am. There was no malfunctioning of EVMs reported from any of the 32 booths, he said.
In the 2016 Assembly elections, Mr Vaithilingam had defeated AIADMK nominee P. Ganesan by 5106 votes.
For the bypoll, the Congress has fielded former legislator A. John Kumar and Principal Opposition party All India N. R Congress has fielded realtor S. Bouvaneswarane.