Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Voters lined up outside polling booths across Tamil Nadu Wednesday as elections to choose a new 234-member assembly began.
About 47 million people are eligible to exercise their franchise. A total of 2,748 candidates, including 141 women, are in the fray to elect the 14th Tamil Nadu assembly.
The main battle is between the ruling DMK-led coalition and the AIADMK-led alliance.
The electorate would be deciding whether incumbent Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi would be given the chance to become the state head for a record sixth time and also enter the precincts of the assembly as its member for a record 12th time.
The others whose fate would be decided by Wednesday's battle for ballot will be Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin (Kolathur constituency), AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa (Srirangam), actor-turned-politician and founder of DMDK A. Vijayakant (Rishivandiyam), PMK president G.K. Mani (Mettur), actor-turned-politician and founder of SMK R. Sarathkumar (Tenkasi), and Tamil Nadu Congress chief K.V. Thangkabalu (Mylapore).
Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar has warned of the Election Commission countermanding the polls if political parties indulged in malpractices.
As many as 9,500 polling booths will have web cameras to relay live the polling process to the central office here and in around 5,000 booths the polling process is being videographed.
Praveen Kumar said the voting percentage during the 2006 assembly elections was 70 percent; during the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 it was 73 percent.