Chennai: Amid do or die situation for bitter rivals Jayalalithaa, chief of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), and M. Karunanidhi, chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), polling for the 234 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu began on a brisk note today with about 4.6 crore voters expected to decided the fate of 2,773 candidates. Political heavyweights whose fortunes will be decided today include Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, his arch rival and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi’s son and Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and DMDK actor-founder Vijayakanth.
People came out in good numbers early in the morning and queued up before booths as polling began under the watchful eyes of security personnel who have been deployed in good strength.
While AIADMK is confident of victory, claiming that the people of Tamil Nadu will not vote for what Jayalalitha calls a corrupt DMK, the DMK has left no stone unturned to woo the voters once again despite the 2G taint over its government.
On the eve of Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, arch rivals Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi accused each other of planning violence on polling day.
“According to reliable sources, Karunanidhi has planned to unleash violence in constituencies favourable for AIADMK,” Jayalalithaa said about the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. “The Election Commission ought to be vigilant and handle this with an iron hand,” she added.
DMK chief Karunanidhi in turn said “the fear of defeat has gripped Jayalalithaa’s cadres. It’s an attempt to instigate violence.” Lashing out at the AIADMK chief, he added that she “does not seem to have any concern for peaceful polls in Tamil Nadu.”
In the union territory of Puducherry also, the polling to elect 30 members to the Assembly began with a brisk note and large queues were seen before the booths.