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Lone Pondy LS seat goes to polls Thursday

PTI pondy
Updated: 17-04-2019 18:43 IST
Lone Pondy LS seat goes to polls Thursday

All arrangements are in place for polling Thursday to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Puducherry and bypoll to the Thattanchavady Assembly segment, which saw intense campaigning by the main rivals, the ruling Congress and the AINRC. There are 18 contestants for the Lok Sabha poll and eight candidates for the Thattanchavady by-election.

The main battle would be between the ruling Congress, which has put up former Speaker V Vaithilingam and the opposition AINRC's K Narayanasamy. R Radhakrishnan of AINRC had won the seat in 2014, defeating Congress nominee V Narayanasamy, who is the chief minister now.

Bypoll to the Thattanchavady assembly segment is being held to fill the vacancy caused by disqualification of the opposition AINRC legislator Ashok Anand following conviction in a disproportionate assets case in October last year. The nearly one-month long campaign in the union territory saw leaders of various political parties, including from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, canvass votes in support of their respective front's candidates.

Local leaders and others attached to the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) had attacked not only the BJP-led NDA, AINRC and AIADMK, but also Lt Governor Kiran Bedi "for putting obstacles in implementation of welfare schemes." Deputy District Election Officer S Sakthivelu told reporters here prohibitory orders under section 144 Cr P.C. had been promulgated and it would remain in force till 6 a.m.

on April 19. He said during polling only candidates and authorised agents would be permitted to visit the booths and no one else would be permitted.

Special arrangements for differently-abled and visually impaired voters have been made at the booths. Ninety-six per cent of the 9.73 lakh voters spread across the union territory have been issued voters slips, though they were not mandatory for the electorate to exercise franchise, the official said adding electoral photo identity cards were a must for voting.

The Election Commission permits any of the eleven other documents including PAN card, passport, bank passbook, identity cards issued to the workers engaged under MGNREGA scheme as proof for identification of voters. Polling starts at 7 a.m and will end at 6 p.m..