Polling begins in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Polling in the 232 out of 234 assembly constituencies began in Tamil Nadu on Monday morning.

Around 5.82 crore voters are set to elect a new 234-member assembly in the polls being held on Monday and on May 23 for Thanjavur and Aravakurichi constituencies.

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The Election Commission has postponed the elections in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi after it received complaints about large scale distribution of money to the voters by political parties and their candidates vitiating the electoral process.

In 234 constituencies a total of 3,776 candidates including 320 women are in the fray. There are 1,566 independent candidates are also trying their electoral fortunes.

In the 232 constituencies in which the poll is being held on Monday, there are 3,728 candidates in the fray.

The state is seeing a multi-cornered contest.

The ruling AIADMK is going to the polls aligning with a couple of smaller outfits fielding its candidates in 227 seats and the balance seven has been given to its allies.

The DMK has aligned with the Congress, two Muslim parties and some smaller outfits.

The third front led by the DMDK comprises the CPI-M, CPI, VCK, TMC and MDMK under its fold.

The PMK is going it alone while BJP has aligned with few smaller parties.

Though the fight is mainly between the AIADMK and the DMK the polls might through up a surprise element as well.

Voting begins in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) At sharp 7 a.m. on Monday, polling got underway across Kerala to elect 140 new legislators to the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The electoral battle in the state is principally between the traditional rival fronts — the Congress-led UDF and the CPI-M-led LDF.

But the BJP-led NDA alliance after a massive election campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also having high hopes.

The cloudy skies and rains in some places appears not to have dented the interests of the voters as in most places people had come well before time and in many places the queue of voters started to grow.

A total of 1,203 contestants, including 109 women, are in the fray.

As per the election officials, the state has 2,60,19,284 voters comprising of 1,25,10,589 male, 1,35,08,693 female and two voters belonging to the third gender.

In all there are 21,498 regular polling booths and 148 auxiliary polling booths, of which there are 1,233 categorised as critical and including 119 booths that are in Maoist-influenced areas.

A record 1,11,897 polling officials and more than 52,000 personnel from the Kerala Police besides around 100 companies of central forces, 2,000 officials from the excise department and another 2,027 home guards is responsible to ensure the poll passes off peacefully.

Voting ends at 6 p.m.

Voting begins in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) At sharp 7 a.m. on Monday, polling got underway across Kerala to elect 140 new legislators to the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The electoral battle in the state is principally between the traditional rival fronts — the Congress-led UDF and the CPI-M-led LDF.

But the BJP-led NDA alliance after a massive election campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also having high hopes.

The cloudy skies and rains in some places appears not to have dented the interests of the voters as in most places people had come well before time and in many places the queue of voters started to grow.

A total of 1,203 contestants, including 109 women, are in the fray.

As per the election officials, the state has 2,60,19,284 voters comprising of 1,25,10,589 male, 1,35,08,693 female and two voters belonging to the third gender.

In all there are 21,498 regular polling booths and 148 auxiliary polling booths, of which there are 1,233 categorised as critical and including 119 booths that are in Maoist-influenced areas.

A record 1,11,897 polling officials and more than 52,000 personnel from the Kerala Police besides around 100 companies of central forces, 2,000 officials from the excise department and another 2,027 home guards is responsible to ensure the poll passes off peacefully.

Voting ends at 6 p.m.

Voting begins in Meghalaya by-election

Shillong, May 16 (IANS) Voting for by-election to the Tura Lok Sabha constituency in Meghalaya began on Monday amid tight security, an official said.

Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations well before voting opened at 7.00 a.m. in the entire state.

Polling will end at 4.00 p.m., said chief electoral officer Frederick Kharkongor.

The by-election was necessitated following the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4.

Sangma’s youngest son Conrad K.Sangma is contesting the by-election as National People’s Party’s (NPP)main candidate in a straight fight against Congress entrant Dikkanchi.D.Shira, wife of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

Shira is also the sitting legislator in the 60-member House Meghalaya Assembly.

The BJP and other Meghalaya-based regional political parties – the United Democratic Party, Garo National Council, Hill State People’s Democratic Party are supporting the NPP candidate.

The centre has deployed 12 additional companies of central armed police force to ensure smooth conduct of the by-poll in the 24 assembly segments in five districts of the Garo Hills region.

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