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TN, Kerala, Puducherry set for polls today

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 15, 2016

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The fate of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry will be sealed tomorrow in the one-day polling to their assemblies.

The Election Commission has, however decided to postpone voting in Aravakurichi Assembly Constituency in Tamil Nadu to May 23 instead of allowing the constituency to vote with the other 233 constituencies in the state.

The EC took the decision as it felt that the current electoral process in the constituency had "been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers in bribing the electors and unlawfully inducing them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favour.” 

Over 5.82 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes in Tamil Nadu while in neighbouring Kerala over 2.6 crore voters will be eligible to cast their votes to decide the fate of 140 legislators. In Puducherry, over 9.4 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes to elect 30 legislators.

With 45 candidates, Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar has the maximum number of people contesting in any constituency in Tamil Nadu. Arcot and Gudalur are among the three constituencies that have 8 candidates, the minimum number in the State, contesting.

Ozhukarai, with 17 candidates, has the maximum number of contestants in a single constituency in Puducherry and Poonjar in Kerala has 17 candidates, the maximum number in a single constituency in the State.

There are 80 constituencies in Tamil Nadu in which more than one woman contestant is in the fray. In comparison, there are four constituencies each in Puducherry and Kerala in which there is more than one woman candidate in the fray. 

In Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is the only party contesting in all 234 assembly constituencies while the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is contesting in 188 constituencies, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (180) Bahujan Samaj Party (158) and Indian National Congress (INC) (41).

In Kerala, the BJP contesting in 98 constituencies, INC (87), CPI (Marxist) (85), BSP (74) and CPI (25).

In contrast, BJP is contesting in all the 30 seats in Puducherry as are the AIADMK and the All India N.R. Congress. 

To ensure free and fair polls the Election Commission has deployed over  23,000 Central Police Forces in Tamil Nadu while another 12,000 of these forces have been deployed in Kerala. This is a three-fold increase in the Central Forces as compared to the 2011 Assembly elections.

Polling in these two States and one union territory will bring to an end the process of electing legislators for the Assemblies in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry. While West Bengal and Assam had multi-phase polling beginning on April 4 and ending on May 5, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have a one-day poll on May 16. Counting for all four states and one UT will take place on May 19.

Published on May 15, 2016
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