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First results in Pondy expected by 0830 hrs on May 11

Written by: Staff
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Pondicherry, May 10 (UNI) Counting of ballots polled in the Assembly elections in the Union Territory of Pondicherry would be held here tomorrow, amid tight security.

The counting would begin at 0800 hours at Bharathidasan Government Women's College, the counting centre for Pondicherry.

Simultaneous counting would be held in the other regions of the Union Territory.

The 30 member Assembly went to the polls in two phases. While Mahe, Palloor and Yanam constituencies voted in the first phase on May 3, the electorate in Pondicherry with 21 seats and Karaikal with six seats exercised their franchise on May 8 in the second phase.

The Union Territory registered 85.43 per cent polling with 4,72,241 of the total electorate of 5,52,784 coming to the booths.

With counting beginning at 0800 hours, the first result is expected at around 0830 hours. The results from small constituencies - Bussy and Raj Bhavan - where the turnout was 4443 and 3887, are expected to be announced first.

As many as 218 candidates contested the elections, prominent among them being Chief Minister N Rangasamy, former Chief Ministers V Vaithilingam, R V Janakiraman and P Kannan, founder president of the Puducherry Munnetra Congress.

After the May 10, 2001 elections, the then PCC(I) president, Mr Shanmugham, who did not contest, became Chief Minister and continued till October 18. Mr Shanmugham resigned on October 19 as no elected member was prepared to resign to enable him to contest. This led to the election of Mr N Rangasamy as CLP leader, and he was sworn in as Chief Minister on October 21. The AIADMK supported the government and an AIADMK member M D R Ramachandran was elected speaker. Later, the AIADMK withdrew support, but, by then, the Puducherry Makkal Congress merged with the Congress, giving it absolute majority. Mr Ramachandran however quit the AIADMK and remained speaker.

The next government in Pondicherry is expected to assume office before May 20.

UNI PAB AA VD RK0946

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