Over 18 percent polling in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Over 18 percent of the total voters cast their ballots on Monday in majorty of Tamil Nadu’s 232-assembly constituencies where polling is underway on Monday.

At the end of two hours, the poll percentage is over 18 percent, said an election commission official.

DMK chief M.Karunanidhi, his son and party treasurer M.K.Stalin, the state leader of BJP Tamilisai Soundararajan, Congress leader P.Chidambaram and others cast their votes.

Speaking to reporters after casting his vote, Karunanidhi said the victory prospects for the DMK-Congress combine is bright.

The DMK-led alliance will win required number of seats to form the next government, Karunanidhi said.

Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and in some places in southern districts are experiencing rains which in turn has slowed down the voting.

There were also reports of malfunctioning of voting machines and power cuts in some places that has slowed down the process.

In Chennai, voting is progressing at a brisk pace.

Actors like Kamal Hassan, Rajinikanth, Ajith, Sundar.C, Kushboo and others also cast their ballots.

Polling in the 232 out of 234 assembly constituencies began in Tamil Nadu at 7.00 a.m. and will end at 6.00 p.m.

The Election Commission had campaigned hard to achieve 100 percent polling in the state.

Around 5.82 crore voters are set to elect the new 234-member assembly in the polls and on May 23 for Thanjavur and Aravakurichi constituencies.

The Election Commission has postponed the elections in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi after it received complaints about large scale distribution of money to the voters by political parties and their candidates vitiating the electoral process.

In the 232 constituencies, there are 3,728 candidates in the fray.

In 234 constituencies, a total of 3,776 candidates including 320 women are in the fray. There are 1,566 independent candidates are also trying their electoral fortunes.

The ruling AIADMK is going to the polls aligning with a couple of smaller parties fielding its candidates in 227 seats and the balance seven has been given to its allies.

The DMK has aligned with the Congress, two Muslim parties and some smaller outfits.

The third front led by the DMDK comprises the CPI-M, CPI, VCK, TMC and MDMK under its fold.

The PMK is contesting alone while the BJP has aligned with few smaller parties.

–IANS

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