Tension at Chinnalapatti over cash for votes complaint

DMK functionary is alleged to have distributed money to voters

Polling across Dindigul district was by and large peaceful on Tuesday but for a minor clash between cadres owing allegiance to two parties at Chinnalapatti, and technical glitch in the electronic voting machines at two places.

Elaborate arrangements had been made at al the polling stations in Athoor, Vedasandur, Palani, Dindigul, Natham, Nilakottai and Oddanchatram Assembly constituencies in the district. Additional police personnel and micro observers were posted at places identified as vulnerable stations.

There was a technical snag in the EVM at Malvarpatti in Vedasandur Assembly segment and at the CSI School centre in Natham.

The COVID-19 guidelines such as mandatory wearing of face mask, using hand sanitiser and physical distancing were not followed in majority of the places.

There was brisk polling in the rural areas of Palani, Nilakottai, Natham and Vedasandur since 8 a.m. which continued till noon. In view of the hot sun, there was a lull in the afternoon. Evening saw a steady stream of voters at polling stations across the district.

In Chinnalapatti, a woman, identified as Amudha, 50, wife of a DMK functionary, was allegedly distributing cash to voters. A flying squad rushed in, caught and she was handed over to the Chinnalapatti police. As news spread, PMK candidate Thilaga Bama came to the spot with her supporters and resorted to an agitation. She demanded action against the DMK functionary. There were tense moments following wordy duel between the cadres of the two camps. Senior police officers led by ADSP Inigo Iniyan and DSP Manimaran made enquiries.

Soon Athoor Tahsildar Pavitra reached the polling station as the staff demanded protection from the cadres. Additional police personnel were deployed to diffuse the tension.

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