Puducherry elections: Around 66 per cent polling till 3 PM

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Puducherry, Apr 6 (PTI) An estimated 66 per cent of the 10.04 lakh voters in the Union Territory of Puducherry exercised their franchise till 3 PM on Tuesday.

Polling was brisk from the beginning.

Official sources said that 66.36 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in Puducherry while the Karaikal region recorded 64.86 per cent, Mahe 56.53 per cent and Yanam region 71.60 per cent.

Yanam, where the AINRC leader N Rangasamy is contesting, registered a higher percentage of polling than the other three regions from the beginning.

Rangasamy is seeking election to the territorial Assembly from Thattanchavady segment in Puducherry region also.

The contest is keen between the AINRC-led NDA and the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance.

Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy, however, bowed out of the poll contest on the ground that he had to coordinate poll related work in the union territory.

He had also claimed at a recent press meet that the high command had asked him to contest but had refrained the contest only to coordinate poll related works.

The NDA, however, had claimed that the Congress high command had refused ticket to Narayanasamy in spite of his long service in the party.

The BJP and AIADMK are the other constituents of the AINRC-led NDA here.

While AINRC fielded candidates in 16 of the total 30 constituencies the BJP is aspiring to annex nine seats while the AIADMK is contesting from five seats.

The Congress has fielded candidates in 14 out of the 15 seats earmarked to it.

The national party is supporting an independent in Yanam.

The DMK, its main alliance partner, has fielded candidates in 13 seats and the VCK and CPI are contesting from one constituency each.

There was tight police security at all booths.

Polling has by and large been peaceful so far.

Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and her husband cast their votes in Chennai, a release from her office said.PTI Cor SS PTI PTI