60 percent voting in Tamil Nadu amid violence, 75 in Puducherry (Fourth Lead)

May 13th, 2009 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chennai/Puducherry, May 13 (IANS) Over 60 percent voters exercised their franchise in 39 Tamil Nadu constituencies Wednesday amid sporadic violence in which one person was killed while in neighbouring union territory of Puducherry the turnout was 75 percent.
Poll officials of the two regions said the final tally will be known only after all those voters who came to the booth at 5 p.m. have voted.

One man was killed and 13 injured in election related clashes in three places in Tamil Nadu, including the state capital. Police said DMK member S. Thangavel died after being stabbed during a clash between supporters of the state’s ruling party and AIADMK in Dindigul town, about 350 km Chennai.

There were complaints of large scale voter omission across the state during the polls that would decide the electoral fortunes of 823 candidates in Tamil Nadu of which 41 are women.

Prominent candidates include Home Minister P. Chidambaram, union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and E.V.K.S. Elangovan of the Congress; Dayanidhi Maran, M.K. Azhagiri and T.R. Baalu of the DMK and MDMK’s Vaiko.

There were 52,175 polling stations in the state, which in the last elections state logged 60.76 polling.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi alongwith his wife cast his vote and expressed confidence in the DMK-led three party alliance - Congress and VCK being other two - sweeping all the 40 seats - 39 in Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry constituency.

Chidambaram also expressed confidence of Congress victory.

“The poll results in Tamil Nadu will undoubtedly be the crowning glory of the Congress-DMK combine’s continuing endeavours. While I am sure of my victory, our front will certainly do very well,” Chidambaram told reporters in Sivaganga after casting his vote.

The minister hopes for a sixth consecutive win from the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency, about 350 km south of Chennai.

Former chief minister and AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa and movie star Rajinikant cast their vote in Stella Maris College near their Poes Garden residence.

Speaking to reporters after voting Jayalalithaa said she was keeping her post-poll options open.

“There are feelers from many places. I am not responding to them now. Everything depends on the election results. If the results are as expected then I will go to Delhi,” she said.

In Puducherry, P.T. Rudra Goud, joint chief electoral officer, told IANS: “We expect the final poll tally will be anything between 75-80 percent.”

He said the polling was smooth.

In the 2004 general elections Puducherry recorded 75.99 percent polling.

The constituency comprises of Puducherry, Mahe, Yanam and Karaikal.

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