Chennai, May 23 (GCCurrentAffairs) Counting of votes polled in the Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls in Tamil Nadu, that would decide the fate of the ruling AIADMK, began on Thursday morning, amid tight security.
The counting began in 45 centres across the state, involving 17,128 polling staff. A total of 88 central observers were deputed by the Centre to monitor the counting process.
A total of 45,000 police personnel, including 10,000 in three counting Centres in Chennai, were deployed on security duty. Apart from the state police, 1,520 para military forces, were also drafted for security duty across the State.
The Union Home Ministry has alerted all the State DGPs to be on vigil to deal with violent incidents. Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said each Lok Sabha seat has six assembly segments of which EVMs would be counted in five tables and the postal ballots in the sixth table.
Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) papers, which was used for the first time this time along with the EVMs, would also be taken up after counting of EVMs.
The fate of 822 candidates in LS polls to 38 seats and 406 in bypoll to 22 Assembly seats would be decided after counting.
With a majority of the exit poll predicting victory for the Opposition DMK-led Front in the polls, the people’s verdict would be very crucial for the surival of the government, which has been surviving on a wafer
A total of 72.01 per cent of the 5.88 crore electorate voted in LS polls, while 76.5 per cent voted in bypolls, which were seen as an acid test for the leadership qualities for both the AIADMK and the DMK.
Though there were 39 Lok Sabha constituencies, elections were held only for 38 seats after the Election Commission (EC) rescinded the polling for the Vellore seat following seizure of large amount of cash.
Of the total 22 vacant assembly seats, bypoll for 18 seats were held along with single phase Lok Sabha polls on April 18 and for the remaining four seats on May 19.
Moreover, this was the first full-fledged elections faced by the State in the absence of two tall leaders and former Chief Ministers–AIADMK’s J Jayalalithaa and DMK’s M Karunanidhi–who died in December 2017 and August 2018, respectively.