This is also the first time in Tamil Nadu that voters have been provided with an option of 'NOTA' as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

"Voting commenced at 8 AM. The first report on voting percentage will come only after 10 AM. This is also the first time in Tamil Nadu the 'NOTA' option is being provided for voters, after the Supreme Court order," Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said.

A total of 2.4 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in this poll. The main opposition party DMDK is not contesting the election.

There are a total of 11 candidates in the fray with AIADMK's P Saroja, wife of AIADMK legislator C Perumal, whose death necessitated the bypoll and DMK's V Maran being the main contestants.

The remaining nine independents are also testing their electoral luck from the constituency.

A total of 43 Striking Forces at various levels has been deployed to redress any emergencies.

The poll will see live recording of poll proceedings at 290 polling stations, all of which have been declared as sensitive and covered by local police and CRPF.

This is the fourth bypoll being held in Tamil Nadu since 2011 after AIADMK returned to power and the ruling dispensation has won all the three.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has gone all out to ensure that her party maintains the winning streak.

DMK's star campaigner MK Stalin, son of party patriarch M Karunanidhi has also toiled hard to try and annex the seat for his party.

(Agencies)

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