EC requested to extend time to vote in rain hit areas: CEC

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Chennai, May 16: Election authorities in Tamil Nadu have made a recommendation to the Election Commission to extend time to vote in rain hit regions of Tamil Nadu following representations from AIADMK, DMK and Congress.

"We received representations from DMK, AIADMK and Congress parties to extend time to cast vote in rain hit regions," Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni said here today, adding, we have sent a recommendation to EC (to consider it).

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"However rains have started receding and after considering the situation by 3 PM, further steps will be taken," he said. He said Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Tiruchirappalli, Dinidigul, Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts have been experiencing heavy rainfall.  [Tamil Nadu, Puducherry Assembly elections (Live): T.Nagar booth gets Braille EVM]

Though parties have requested that time be extended in 14 districts, it was found after consultations that rainfall was heavy only in Delta districts, besides the five other regions, including Sivaganga, he added.

"Whether the time will be extended or not, whoever manages to reach the polling station before 6 PM will be given a token and they will be allowed to vote irrespective of the time the process may take, be it 8 PM or 9 PM," he said.

Reiterating that there are no law and order issues anywhere in Tamil Nadu, he said there were only "some minor incidents not worth mentioning." He dismissed as incorrect charges that an attempt had been made to capture a booth at Maduravayoal here.

Additional police personnel were sent there as there were huge crowds ahead of 100 meters in some booths and due to it voters expressed apprehension.

"It was not an attempt to booth-capture." Offline recording of polling process was on in about 3,000 booths as webcasting could not be done due to power cut issues in parts of districts like Ramanathapuram, he said. Emergency lights have been arranged in areas that experience power cuts, he said.

PTI 

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