TN. Kerala leaders confident of wins, 1 month wait for result

TN. Kerala leaders confident of wins, 1 month wait for result

The fate of the three southern heavyweights-- Karunanidhi (86), Achuthanandan(87) and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa (63)-- were sealed in today's Assembly polls, perhaps the closest electoral battle in the two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. All the three are contesting the elections and cast their votes.

As party leaders kept a close watch on the mood of the voters in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union territory of Puducherry to get some clues on which way the wind was blowing, there was no dearth of optimism among the ruling and opposition fronts in forming the next government. Counting of votes will be taken up on May 13.

A confident Karunanidhi, the DMK supremo, even hinted at a possible coalition government, a key issue said to have been raised by long-time ally Congress as a post-poll arrangement.

"Our prospects are as bright as the Rising Sun (DMK's symbol) and we will win as many seats as we require to form government," he told reporters in Chennai.
Asked about the possible composition of his government, he said it could either "be our own or a coalition government."

During the tough seat-sharing bargaining between Congress and DMK, the national party is said to have made a strong pitch for a share in power. The Congress has been out of power in Tamil Nadu since 1967 when it was unseated by the DMK, then under party founder C N Annadurai.

Jayalalithaa, a former chief minister, expressed confidence that her party along with alliance parties would win the polls and regain power to form the next government.
Both Karunanidhi, leading the DMK-Congress combine and Jayalalithaa, heading the AIDMK-led front, are contesting elections from their native Tiruvarur and Srirangam constituencies.

Deputy Chief Minister and Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin also sounded confident of a DMK sweep claiming that its front would win around 200 seats on the basis of the government's populist measures and the overall performance. In neighbouring Kerala, Achuthanandan, a CPI-M stalwart, expressed confidence at the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front's(LDF) showing.

"We will win majority both in Malampuzha and the state', Achuthanandan told reporters after visiting some booths here. The CPI(M) warhorse had left for Alappuzha this morning to cast his vote after his yoga and early breakfast in Malampuzha in Palakkad district from where he is contesting.

Kerala Home Minister and CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said LDF will better its 2006 performance in the assembly elections. Opposition United Democratic Front(UDF) leader Oommen Chandy of Congress contesting from Puthupally in Kottayam and his party colleague Ramesh Chennithala, trying his luck from Haripad in Alapuzha, were confident of the Congress-led front doing well at the hustings.