Chennai: Moderate to brisk turn out was witnessedas polling for the first phase of rural local body elections in 27 districts of Tamil Nadu began on Friday, amid tight security.
Official sources said there were no untoward incident and the polling was progressing smoothly.An estimated 15 to 20 per cent of polling was reported in thefirst three hours.
The elections were being held after a gap of over three years,with the second phase scheduled on December 30.Polling was not held in nine newly carved districts as per theSupreme Court order.
In the first phase, polling was being held in 156 panchayat unions to elect 260 ward members of district panchayats, 2,546 members of panchayat unions and 37,830 panchayat members.
According to State Election Commissioner R Palaniswamy ballotmethod was being followed in the elections and four types of coloured ballot papers would be used in the polls.
Every voter has to cast four votes in the polls. They were votingto elect Panchayat Ward Members, Gram Panchayat President, Panchayat Union Ward Members and District Panchayat Union Ward members.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements for the electionswith the deployment of more than 48,000 personnel and 14,500 non-police personnel like ex-servicemen to ensure a free and fair polling.
Live web casting of the polling was being done and the processwas also videographed. Micro observers were also posted in all the booths.
A report from Dharmapuri said polling was temporarily stopped in two wards of Paapampatty in Paapireddypatty panchayat union asthe Symbols got mixed up.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed in a booth at Pavakkal in Krishnagiridistrict after two male relatives of panchayat union councillor candidate of Uthangarai Union, Lalitha Maharajan, threatened self-immolation over printing of "hand bag" instead of "Manja pai"(yellow cloth bag) on the ballot sheet.
Police, however, prevented them after they doused themselves with kerosene.(UNI)