Chennai: Over 80 per cent of the 2.14 lakh voters cast their votes in Wednesday`s Yercaud (ST) bypoll where archrivals DMK and AIADMK are locked in a fierce battle.
Quoting initial estimates, electoral authorities said about 86 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise during the voting, which largely ended on a peaceful note.
This is the first time in Tamil Nadu that voters have been provided with an option of `NOTA` (None of the Above) as per the Supreme Court guidelines.
The fourth bypoll in the state since 2011 after AIADMK stormed to power, was necessitated following the death of sitting AIADMK legislator C Perumal early this year.
With main opposition DMDK staying away from the contest, the bypoll turned into a virtual show of strength between bitter political rivals DMK and AIADMK, with either of them leaving no stone unturned to win the elections and hurling allegations of electoral malpractices at each other.
While AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa went on a day-long campaign trail for her candidate P Saroja, Perumal`s widow, DMK`s first family made its presence felt with party chief M Karunanidhi`s children M K Stalin and Kanimozhi canvassing votes for their party nominee V Maran.
The result of the elections will not, however, alter the arithmetic in the state assembly as AIADMK enjoyed an absolute majority of 151-members in the 234 member house.
DMK has a strength of 23 MLAs.
The opposition party`s win would, however, send warning signals to the ruling dispensation ahead of next year`s Lok Sabha polls.
Counting of votes will be held on December 8.