Chennai: High drama prevailed at the Queen Mary’s College, where the counting of RK Nagar took place on Sunday, with the ruling party members creating a ruckus leading to suspension of counting of votes. For about an hour poll officials had a tough time controlling party cadre inside the counting centre.
There were also exchange of blows in front of the election observers and presiding officers forcing the district election machinery to deploy more paramilitary force personnel.
At one stage corporation commissioner D. Karthikeyan and city police commissioner A K. Viswanathan were on their toes scrambling to pacify the supporters of quarrelsome AIADMK factions. It all started with the supporters of TTV Dhinakaran cheering, whenever the votes secured by Dhinakaran were displayed in the electronic voting machine by the revenue staff, this fuelled more tension among the booth agents of AIADMK factions.
Making matters worse, a few women who had booth agent passes representing AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan started abusing the TTV supporters. At one stage AIADMK supporters, including women pounced on TTV supporters and gave them a sound thrashing. Sensing trouble, the revenue officials stopped the counting and took the electronic voting machines back to the strong room.
After several rounds of parley, the counting for the third round commenced and the poll officials also suspended the display of LED screen fearing that margins of the candidates could create fresh tension.
According to a highly placed official, Chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni who was taken aback by the developments in the counting station instructed the top police officials to rush to the counting station. “The CEO was also in constant touch with the district election officer instructing him to continue the counting with high security, thus finally bringing the high stakes RK Nagar poll to an end”, the official added.