Vijayakanth intensifies poll campaign

Vijayakanth intensifies poll campaign
Fearing poor response, the DMDK-PWF chief ministerial candidate Vijayakanth rushed to his Ulundurpet constituency on Tuesday to intensify his campaigning after abruptly cancelling other programmes.

The move was triggered by a pre-poll prediction indicating poor response to the party in its own turf.

 A poll survey, which was conducted by DMDK youth wing leader Sudish during his campaign, said that electorates in Ulundurpet questioned why Vijayakanth wasn’t contesting in Reshivandhiyam, where he fought last polls.

After coming to know from Sudish about his electoral prospects, Vijayakanth, who was about to attend a public meeting in Trichy on Tuesday evening, suspended his trip and proceeded towards his Ulundurpet constituency in Villupuram district.

"Our leader has decided to stay back for 2 days and would intensify his campaign besides conducting various public meetings in Ulundurpet," S Gopalan, a senior DMDK functionary told DH.

He said the electoral battle at Ulundurpet is getting harder with the Vanniyar-dominated PMK recently changing its candidate and fielding party spokesperson and High Court advocate Balu. In addition, the DMDK chief has to face the ruling AIADMK candidate and sitting Ulundurpet MLA R Kumaraguru, who is seeking re-election from the same place.

PMK candidate Balu, during a meeting with his electorates, repeatedly said that defeating Vijayakanth will not be a big problem since Ulundurpet electorates are aware of the fact that the actor hardly attended the Assembly session to take up the grievances of the neighbouring Rishivandhiyam constituency where he won last time. Even Vijayakanth's wife and DMDK women wing leader Premalatha Vijayakanth is likely to go to Ulundurpet to help her husband in campaigning. 

There are many speculations as to why Vijayakanth chose this constituency. Going by numbers, in the 2011 election, VCK, which at present is allied with DMDK, secured 61,286 against total polled vote figure of 1.91 lakh.
 
Tobacco-free election booths in TN

For the first time, the Election Commission on Tuesday directed the District Election Officers to create 'Tobacco-free election booths' during the May 16 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, DHNS reports from Chennai. Following a petition from Tamilnadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control, Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni said as per Section 4 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, smoking in public places was prohibited. Accordingly, all the poliing stations were to be considered as public places and ensured that they be declared as “No Smoking Zone”, he added.
 
More than 3,700 candidates in TN to try luck

For this May 16 poll, there is an enormous increase in filing of nominations with female representation increased by two fold compared to previous Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, DHNS reports from Chennai. A total of 3,785 candidates are in the fray for 234 Assembly constituencies compared to previous year’s figure of 2,748, an increase of more 33.2%. During the 2011 Assembly polls, only 143 women candidates were in the fray. However, a total of 320 female candidates have filed their nominations papers successfully, an increase of 123% compared to previous polls.

Even representation of men also increased by 34% with total of 3,468 male candidates filed their nominations to try their electoral fortune compared to previous year’s figure of 2,605. 

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