KARUR: Barring a few minor incidents, the by-poll from Aravakurichi Assembly constituency in Karur district went off peacefully on Sunday.
District collector T. Anbazhagan said at 1700 hrs, 79.49 per cent voters had cast their votes, which included 75,630 male voters and 87,534 female voters. There are 2,05,273 voters including 1,06,219 female voters, he added.
Tension prevailed for a while, following a wordy quarrel between the Aravakkurichi Assembly constituency DMK candidate Senthil Balaji and Ms .Laltiha Lakshmi at Thottakkurichi and Thalavaaipalayam village where the higher police official objected a shelter erected by the DMK beyond 200-metre distance from the polling station, to guide the voters. Mr. Senthil Balaji explained as per the EC's norms and as well as its permission, they had erected the temporary shelter like other political parties.
According to sources, efforts were on to file a case against Mr. Senthil Balaji, for violating the MCC and other offenses. In the meantime, over 200 voters of Aravakkurichi constituency and residents of Pallapatti, most of them Muslims working in Chennai, came in four chartered buses and when they attempted to get down from the buses, police rounded them up; however they were allowed to go to their respective polling stations to cast their votes after verifying their voters IDs, Aadhar cards, and other relevant documents.
In another development, State Transport minister M R Vijayabaskar alleged that DMK men gave photo copies of Rs.2000 denomination currency notes to voters with an alleged promise if DMK won Aravakurichi, they could hand over the 'xerox copy' of the currency note in return for the original currency. But DMK candidate Senthil Balaji dismissed it pure drama by the AIADMK minister, fearing defeat in the bypoll.
There was a tense situation at a polling station at Aravakkurichi when a ruling AIADMK functionary Mahendran attempted to distribute money to the voters inside the polling booth, which was objected by other agents and they caught hm red-handed and handed him to the police.
Two DMK women functionaries were injured when a DSP rank police officer of Aravakurichi allegedly threw chairs at a group of DMK functionaries sitting beyond the 200-m limit, and distributing booth slips to voters.
The polling process was stalled for more than an hour at a polling booth at Pallapatti and Soundarapuram where EVMs were not placed on alphabetic basis of the contesting candidates. This was objected by both the DMK and AMMK agents and normalcy restored only after the EVMs' positioning was rectified.