Even as polling is underway in the first and only phase of the Legislative Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, a video of EVM machines being carried on the backs of donkeys ahead of polling has surfaced on social media. The video, shared by news agency ANI on Twitter late on Monday shows donkeys carrying EVM machines in Dindigul district of the Natham area. The footage, however, had been captured previously, the agency informed.
#WATCH | Donkeys carry EVMs to villages in the Natham area of Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, ahead of assembly elections tomorrow.(Earlier visuals) pic.twitter.com/k0pd3WPK4N— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2021
News18 could not verify the date and time of the shooting of the viral footage shared by ANI. The practice of using donkeys for carrying poll material, however, is not unheard of in Tamil Nadu, a state with voters from several remote regions that can only be accessed on foot.
During the 2019 elections, the Election Commission of India had enlisted the services of four donkeys who had been pressed into action for carrying polling material to the non-motorable Kottur village in Dharmapuri parliament constituency. Donkeys were also used in Kathirimalai, a remote hamlet in Bargur Hills that can only be accessed after a 9 km trek through jungle terrain which is home to 140 voters.
Over 20 crore people from Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will vote today in a gigantic electoral exercise. While this is the third and final phase of polling for Assam, Bengal has five more.
In Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan’s MNM will contest 142 seats, with 85 divided between some allies – and the AMMK of TTV Dhinakaran, who is the nephew of expelled AIADMK chief Sasikala. The AMMK will contest 165 seats and leave 60 for the DMDK. In Assam, the final phase will see 40 seats in play, with the ruling BJP targeting a second term. The Congress, at the head of an opposition alliance, will contest 24, with Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF getting 12, the BPF eight and CPM one.