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EC to conduct repolls in 13 booths in Tamil Nadu

In Dharmapuri, a stronghold of the NDA constituent PMK, voters were not allowed to vote freely, EC noted in its rationale for holding fresh polls.

, ET Bureau|
May 09, 2019, 02.20 PM IST
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DMK had charged the PMK with trying to intimidate voters into giving up votes.
CHENNAI: The Election Commission will conduct fresh polls in 13 booths in Tamil Nadu across five Parliamentary constituencies after the state unit of the commission sent reports about irregularities, equipment malfunction and malpractices recorded during the Phase-II election of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on April 18.

In North-western constituency Dharmapuri, a stronghold of the NDA constituent PMK, voters were not allowed to vote freely, the Election Commission noted in its rationale for holding fresh polls in eight booths in the constituency. "...it is proved beyond doubt that polling agents entered into the voting compartment along with voters on many occasions..." adding that votes of some elders were hijacked by polling agents.

The DMK had charged the PMK with trying to intimidate voters into giving up votes. Senthilkumar S, the DMK candidate for Dharmapuri said: "We had sought re-polling in ten booths. We are glad, nevertheless, that this has been ordered.

Two polling booths in Theni and one each in Cuddalore, Erode and Tiruvallur constituencies will also hold fresh polls. reasons for the repoll vary between protocol violations, irregularities during mock polls. In Theni's Periyakulam polling booth, the Election Commission had recorded that a voting machine and VVPAT were replaced without intimation.

Each vote in this election counts for the AIADMK and the DMK in an all-out battle for the remainder of Jayalalithaa's decisive mandate of 2016. The AIADMK should win at least five seats-- more if fence sitters jump ship-- to keep its government. DMK could return to power if its wins all but one seat in the 22-constituency Assembly contest under way along with the Lok Sabha polls.
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