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Polling underway in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry


April 13, 2011 - Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram

Polling was underway in 234 constituencies of Tamil Nadu, 140 in Kerala and 30 in Puducherry on Wednesday to elect new assemblies.

In Tamil Nadu, four and a half crore voters will decide the fate of 2,773 candidates.

The prominent candidates in the fray are Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur), AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa (Srirangam) and actor-politician Vijaykanth of DMDK (Rishivandhiyam).

In Kerala, a total of 2.31 crore electorates will decide the fate of 971 candidates, majority of them independents.

Among the prominent candidates, who are in the fray, include Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan (Malampuzha), UDF's Chief Ministerial probable Oomen Chandy (Puthupally), KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala (Harippad), CPI(M) polit bureau member Kodiyeri Blakrishnan (Thalassery), Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty (Vengara), Kerala Congress (M) supremo K M Mani (Pala) and senior BJP leader O Rajagopal (Nemom).

Close to 4000 booths have been identified as sensitive. Malappuram has maximum number of sensitive booths and Kottayam the least. Micro observers or videopgraphers are to be deployed in sensitive booths.

Voters will have to produce photo identity card or photographed voter's slip issued by the election commission to cast vote.

In Puducherry, all necessary arrangements are being made for the peaceful polling.

Over 8.10 lakh electorates will decide the fate of 187 candidates including 79 Independents.

Prominent candidates in the fray are Chief Minister V Vaithilingam, Ministers E Valsaraj, M Kandasamy, Malladi Krishna Rao, M.O.H.F Shajahan and A Namasivayam, Speaker of the outgoing assembly R Radhakrishnan (all Congress), former Chief Ministers N Rangasamy (N R Congress) and R V Janakiraman (DMK) and former Ministers Chandragasu, Ananda Bhasakaran and Rajavelu (all N R Congress), Theni Jayakumar and Lakshminarayanan (both Congress).

For the first time in the Union Territory, all the 851 polling booths have been connected with webcasting to monitor the polling process.

Ten companies of Para-military forces along with local police and home guards are deployed for security in the Union Territory.

Additional security arrangements have been provided in 102 polling booths, which are identified as vulnerable.

ANI

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