Unseasonal rains in parts of Tamil Nadu on Monday failed to dampen the spirits of the voters, who turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. Tentative polling figures released by the Election Commission of India indicated that the State might have witnessed its third largest turnout of 73.76 per cent in 232 Assembly constituencies.The ECI had deferred polling in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur to May 23 following complaints of widespread bribing of voters.
In 2011, the State had witnessed a record voter turnout of 78.01 percent. The second largest turnout was witnessed in 1967 with 76.57 per cent polling. The Assembly polls of 1984 witnessed a turnout of 73.47 per cent.According to Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni, the highest turnout of 88.5 percent was witnessed in Palacode segment in Dharmapuri district, which topped the polling percentage in the State.In Pennagaram, where PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss is in the fray, and in Kulithalai (from where DMK leader M Karunanidhi won his first election in 1957), the polling percentage was 87.5.
The Harbour constituency in Chennai witnessed the lowest turnout of 55 percent. Mylapore in south Chennai fared slightly better with 56 percent of the electorate casting votes. According to him, voting percentage was down in urban areas, especially in cities and the turnout was good in rural areas.Only “minor incidents” of violence were reported. A man was arrested with Rs 10,000 cash meant for bribing voters.
Following rains in coastal areas of Cuddalore and Thanjavur districts and in Madurai, Sivaganga, Dindigul and Nagapattinam districts, several political parties urged the ECI to extend the polling hours. The Commission did consider seeking permission from Delhi to extend the polling hours beyond 6 pm but it did not materialise(THE HINDU,2016).