5.8 cr TN voters to decide fate of 3,740 nominees

5.8 cr TN voters to decide fate of 3,740 nominees

5.8 cr TN voters to decide fate of 3,740 nominees

 The stage is set for the May 16 single phase polls where over 5.8 crore voters in Tamil Nadu will decide the fate of more than 3,700 candidates vying for 233 seats.

In all, 3,740 candidates are in the fray that includes 319 women and 2 transgenders, who are testing their first electoral waters from Madurai and RK Nagar in Chennai.
However, the Election Commission has postponed the elections to Aravaikurichi constituency due to rampant distribution of money to bribe voters.

In the intense battlefield, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress combine, Vijayakanth’s DMDK-People’s Welfare Front (PWF) comprising DMDK, VCK, Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) and Left parties, caste-based Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the debutant Naam Thamizhar Katchi (NTK) led by actor Seeman are the key contestants.

This apart, several small outfits are also testing their electoral fortunes on their own in contesting some select constituencies. The presence of more than 3,700 candidates in the fray is the highest since the 1996 Assembly elections in which a record 5,017 candidates contested.

Not only is Tamil Nadu for the first time, witnessing multi-cornered contest in Assembly polls but is also witnessing 4 chief ministerial candidates in race.

 This includes Jayalalithaa (AIADMK) contesting in RK Nagar, M Karunanidhi (DMK) from his home town Tiruvarur, former union minister Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK) in Peenagaram and actor Vijayakanth (DMDK-PWF-TMC) in Ulundurpet.

In addition, DMK Treasurer M K Stalin (Kolathur), BJP state unit chief Tamizhisai Soundararajan (Virugambakkam), VCK leader and former MP Thol Thirumavalavan (Kattumannarkovil) and 2 time chief minister O Panneerselvam (Bodi) are among other notable contesting candidates. While all the Opposition parties moved away from freebies, the AIADMK has stuck to its 2011 formula of offering freebies including free mobile phones and 50% discount to women to buy two-wheelers.

In the case of DMK, a decent show in the polls is important since Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin, who was tipped as the party chief, toured extensively across the state for poll campaign. The fledgling Naam Tamizhar Katchi is also in the fray, but is unlikely to create any ripples, though it was excepted to make its presence felt in several pockets, especially in the coastal belt of the state. Likewise, the BJP, which is going alone, is also expected to bring “surprises” in southern parts of the state.

The State has a total electorate of 5,82,01,687 of which 2,88,63,013 are men, 2,93,33,954 women and 4,720 others. In all, the Election Commission has set up over 64,000 polling booths of which 9,630 are classified as sensitive and about 1,400 hyper-sensitive.

Explain violation of code: EC to MK

The Election Commission on Sunday asked DMK to stop political propaganda and campaign in the social media and sought an explanation from party president M Karunanidhi as to why action should not be taken against him for “violating” its code of conduct, PTI reports from Chennai.