BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram: Tamil Nadu witnessed an estimated 25 percent polling and Kerala an impressive 45 percent till 1 p.m. in today’s closely fought assembly polls in the states. The polling process has so far largely remained peaceful.
In Tamil Nadu, polling got off to a brisk start at 8 am reaching the 25 percent mark by 1 p.m. as the voters turned out braving the scorching summer heat to exercise their franchise.
Voters came out in large numbers and seen queueing up in both urban and rural areas in Kerala where the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF)-headed by the Congress party are locked in a fierce battle.
In the union territory of Puducherry, about 40 percent of the voters cast their votes by 1 p.m. to elect 30 members to the assembly.
Official sources in Thiruvananthapuram said voting was progressing peacefully in all the 140 segments without any untoward incident.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi and his arch rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief Jayalalithaa, whose fortunes are being decided today, crossed swords levelling allegations against each other after casting their votes.
Besides them, Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan were among the celebrities who cast their votes in the morning.
A Muslim woman voter shows her ink-marked finger after casting her