Chennai, Jan 2 : Counting of votes polled in the two phase rural local bodies elections in Tamil Nadu on December 27 and 30, began this morning, amid tight security.
Initial trends indicate that both the ruling AIADMK and the DMK have equally established leads in several Gram Panchayat posts. In some places, counting process was delayed due to some minor issues. The polling, held in 27 districts, barring the nine newly carved ones as per the Supreme Court order, saw 76.19 per cent voter turn out in the first phase and 77.73 per cent in the second phase.
In all 2,31,890 candidates contesed the polls for 91,975 posts. A total of 1,70,898 candidates contested for 76,746 Gram Panchayat Ward member posts (18,137 were elected unopposed), 35,611 for 9,624 Gram Panchayat President posts (410 elected unopposed), 22,776 for 5,090 Panchayat Union ward members posts (23 elected unopposed) and 2,605 for515 District Panchayat Union Ward Members posts.
About two lakh officials were deployed in the counting process and 315 counting centres have been set up across the state. After the ballot boxes were brought to the counting centres from strong rooms, the ballot papers (four types of papers in four colours) were separated after which the counting started in the presence of the agents of political parties. The newly elected Ward members will assume office on January six by taking oath or affirmation. Officials said the meeting of Ward members would be held on January 11 for the election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman. (UNI)