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Lone voter left after repoll rebuff

Chennai, May 10: Two Tamil Nadu villages boycotted a repoll thrust on them, asking: “Why should we be penalised for peaceful and good polling'”

Villagers at Periyakalakattur and Adigathur in Tiruttani constituency, where the turnout in Monday’s election was over 83 per cent, refused to vote again. The boycott was in protest against the Election Commission ordering a repoll “when no bogus voting had taken place during the May 8 polling”.

The exceptionally high turnout at the two booths had made the commission suspicious, but the villagers saw the repoll as an affront to their integrity.

In Adigathur, finally one person voted today, state chief electoral officer Naresh Gupta said.

Sources in the state election department said the total voters in each of the two booths could be less than 1,000. The repoll was ordered because the number of signatures (of voters) registered by the presiding officers did not match the number of votes recorded by the electronic voting machine, they added.

The votes that were cast on Monday will not be counted now, Gupta said, joking: “The repoll should now make the counting somewhat easier in Tiruttani constituency.”

But the turnout at three other booths in the constituency, which were among the 18 across the state where repolling was ordered, was over 70 per cent. Two of the three had more than 85 per cent people voting. In Dharmapuri, a booth recorded a repoll turnout of 90 per cent.

Bhutan team

A delegation from Bhutan, in the country to study the electoral system, visited 20 polling stations in Tamil Nadu.

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