New Delhi: Polling for the first phase of rural body elections in 27 districts of Tamil Nadu was conducted on Friday after a nearly three-year delay. The first-phase local body elections in Tamil Nadu began at 7 AM and will conclude by 5 PM on December 27.

Notably, the first phase of the rural body elections was boycotted by residents of Konampatty village located near Harur in Dharmapuri district.

The voter turnout recorded in Theni and Dindigul till 3 PM was 62 per cent and 58.51 per cent respectively.

Madurai witnessed a voter turnout of 45.91 per cent till 1 PM and 7.4 per cent till 9 AM, stated a report. Menawhile, Namakkal district and Erode district recorded a voter turnout of 13 per cent and 11.5 per cent till 9 AM, added the report.

About 156 panchayat unions will elect 260 ward members of district panchayats, 2,546 members of panchayat unions and 37,830 members of panchayats. According to reports, over 48,000 police personnel and 14,500 non-police personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling.

Earlier this month, DMK’s C R Jayasukin had filed a petition requesting the Supreme Court to strike down a rural civic election notification which was issued by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (SEC) on December 2 without exercising the delimitation of wards in the nine newly formed districts in the state. Besides, the election notification which had the dates of rural local body elections did not mention the election dates of town panchayats, municipalities and corporations in Tamil Nadu, stated a report. Chief Justice SA Bobde had on December 14 chose not to interfere in the Tamil Nadu local body elections and said that the orders already passed would hold good in this case.

A total of 3.31 crore voters are eligible to vote in rural civic polls of which 1.67 crore are women, 1.64 crore men and 2,277 are third genders. Voting will be held in as many as 31,698 polling stations in the first phase and 32,092 booths on December 30

For all rural civic bodies covered under the Melpuram panchayat union in Kanyakumari district, EVMs will be used for polling in 114 polling stations, Tamil Nadu chief minister Palaniswamy had said, adding this was a pilot project of the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission. About 2,33,000 ballot boxes will be used for polling in the rest of polling stations and an IAS officer will be deployed as an observer in each of the districts, he added.

Indirect elections will be held on January 11 for posts of president and vice president in district panchayats, panchayat unions and for the posts of vice president of village panchayats