Tamil Nadu polls: Epic ballot battle today; 3,740 candidates in fray

Elaborate arrangements have been made at all 66,007 booths across the state.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu votes on Monday in an epic Assembly election. This is the first time that the state will be witnessing six-cornered fierce contests with the Dravidian majors — AIADMK and DMK — being pitted against a formidable Third Front of six regional parties, evoking political interest across India.

An estimated 5.82 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to seal the fate of 3,740 candidates in 233 constituencies across the state. Elections to Aravakurichi constituency in Karur district will be held on May 23 after Election Commission postponed the polling citing huge flow of money.

Elaborate arrangements have been made at all 66,007 booths across the state and 1.72 lakh Electronic Voting Machines have reached the polling stations for the elections on Monday. Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency from where Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa is seeking re-election has maximum number of 45 candidates in fray.

The election, which is being touted as the fiercest contest for decades in Tamil Nadu politics, has seen many firsts with a notable one being parties contesting the elections by projecting a Chief Ministerial candidate.


The PMK was the first to anoint its youth leader Anbumani Ramadoss as the presumptive CM followed by the DMDK-PWA-TMC alliance, which has projected actor Vijayakanth for the top post.

Ms Jayalalithaa has shown her political guts by fielding candidates in all 234 constituencies, a bold move that even AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran never attempted. The DMK aligned with its old friend Congress and an amalgamation of six political parties entered the poll fray as one alliance projecting themselves as an alternative to the Dravidian parties which have ruled the state alternately since 1967.

Besides, the PMK is fighting the elections on its own and the BJP is facing the high-stakes poll in alliance with lesser know parties. While the DMK and AIADMK are banking on their traditional party vote bank to emerge victorious in the Assembly elections, the DMDK-PWA-TMC alliance is pinning its hopes on first-time voters and youngsters who they claim want an end to the 50 years of rule of the Dravidian majors. The PMK also claims it has the support of majority of the neutral voters and youngsters besides women.

The major issue that drew the attention of the electorate this election is the promise to implement prohibition by almost all the political parties.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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