RK Nagar by-poll sees 73.5% turnout

OUR BUREAU Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 21, 2017

Peaceful voting Voters queueing up outside a polling booth in Chennai’s RK Nagar on Thursday   -  M PRABHU

The RK Nagar Assembly by-election here on Thursday saw 73.5 per cent voting.

Polling went off smoothly in the high-profile constituency, where the by-poll was necessitated by the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

Barring a few glitches like faulty EVMs in select polling booths, there were no signs of trouble in any of the 258 polling stations in the constituency, which has 2.28 lakh voters. The by-poll was originally scheduled for April 2017, but cancelled following reports of rampant bribing of voters. There have been allegations of cash-for-votes this time too. The counting is on December 24.

There were 59 contestants in the fray, including independents and smaller regional parties. Among the significant ones are AIADMK leader E Madhusudhanan, DMK’s Marudhu Ganesh and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who is contesting as an independent.

“All we want is someone who will do something for the constituency,” said voter N Thangam. Residents have two major complaints: water logging during rains and poor drainage facilities.

M Lakshmi, another resident, said: “Drinking water is an issue as well. Sewage often mixes with the water supply, and because of this my kids fall sick frequently. We need proper drainage and drinking water lines.”

However, unlike last year, when people were vocal about their support for Jayalalithaa, they are tight-lipped and cautious now. S Arumugam said: “We are very clear about who we want to vote for and that will be the person who will solve our problems.”

Published on December 21, 2017
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