Voting inTamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry ended at 6pm on Monday, while polling continued in some parts as deadline was extended due to heavy rains.
Around 70% voters turned up at the polling booths in Tamil Nadu by 6 pm while 74% has been the voter turnout in Kerala till 6 pm.
Over 7.2 lakh voters or 80% of Puducherry’s electorate have cast their ballots.
The final leg of the 2016 assembly elections in four states and one Union territory on Monday will seal the fate of major players in south Indian politics like Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, her rival and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, his prime opponent VS Achuthanandan, DMDK’s ‘Captain’ Vijayakanth, among others.
Some filmstars seen showing their inked fingers on Monday were actors Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Khushboo soon after the polling began at 7am.
After loads of cash were seized, and amid reports of cash being distributed to voters, voting in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur and Aravakurichi was deferred to May 23.
The Union territory of Puducherry is witnessing a fight between two Congress parties – the one led by Sonia Gandhi and the breakaway party led by N Rangasamy, who is the chief minister. There are a total of 334 candidates in fray including 21 women.
Moment by moment - A replay of Monday’s election
70% voter turnout recorded till 5 pm in Tamil Nadu.
Over 7.2 lakh voters or 80% of Puducherry’e electorate have cast their ballots so far.
63.7% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in Tamil Nadu and it is 67% in Puducherry.
Rain disrupts polling at some places in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.
All the major players - UDF, LDF and NDA - claimed victory.
57.54 % voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in Kerala. Tamil Nadu turnout expected to be low due to heavy rains in southern districts of the state.
2.00pm: Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Lahoni says, “Eight districts are witnessing heavy rain. I have recommended to extend poll time, and ECI nod is expected by 3pm.”
1.30pm: 42.1% voter turnout recorded till 1pm in Tamil Nadu and 45% in Kerala. Around 38% of Chennaiites have turned up to vote.
After reports of heavy rains in many parts of Tamil Nadu and some parts of Kerala, the chief electoral officer is considering extension of the voting period till 8pm. The schedule has already been extended by an hour.
Voting underway at a polling booth in Puducherry pic.twitter.com/d08DqGzp6V— ANI (@ANI_news) May 16, 2016
Clashes between DMK and AIADMK party workers over alleged discrepancies in the voting dispensation at one of the polling booths.
12.30pm: A newly married bride casts her vote in Pallapalayam, Samalapuram near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
Voting in Tamil Nadu assembly polls underway: A newly married bride casts her vote in Pallapalayam, Samalapuram. pic.twitter.com/yZ91NH7l1j— ANI (@ANI_news) May 16, 2016
12.15pm: Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Rajesh Lahoni has asked district collectors to extend polling time in rain-affected districts.
“EC will consider extending time for polling entirely or in parts keeping in mind the incessant rains. DMK also gave a representation to CEO for extension of polling time by one more hour (6 pm to 7 pm),” the CEO said.
Heavy rains reported in few parts of Tamil Nadu, including coastal regions of Nagapattinam and Cuddalore district.
11.15am: 23.24% voters turn up until 11.00 am in Tamil Nadu while around 30% exercised their franchise in Kerala.
Polling percentage in Tamil Nadu:
Gummidipoondi: 27.1 %
Ponneri 26.1 %
Tiruttani 27.2 %
Tiruvallur 26.4 %
10.45am: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor exercises his franchise at a polling booth in Thiruvananthapuram.
10.30am: Kerala turnout is up to 18.12% till 10.30am. And it’s peaceful so far.
CM Oommen Chandy casts his vote at a polling booth in Kottayam.
Chandy exudes confidence that the Congress-led UDF will retain power changing the poll history of the state that boots out incumbent government after every five years. He says, people are enthusiastic and polling percentage will cross 80%. The UDF mantra of development with care will pay, he says.
10.20am: Heavy rains in Tiruchi and Thiruvarur are believed to have hindered polling percentage these parts of Tamil Nadu.
10.10am: Around 20% voting was recorded from different parts of Tamil Nadu by 10 am. Also, 15% was recorded in Kerala by 10am.
Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi of the DMK, Tamilisai Soundarajan of the BJP and former finance minister P Chidambaram too voted by 10 am.
10.00am: 13.5% voter turnout recorded till 9.30 am in Kerala.
Eyeing a second successive term, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa arrives at Stella Maris College in Chennai to cast her vote. She is contesting from RK Nagar constituency.
RK Nagar has the maximum number of candidates at 45, with DMK (Shimla Muthuchozhan) and VCK (Vasanthi Devi) also fielding women nominees to take on Jayalalithaa. BJP’s MN Raja is also in the fray.
9.50am: It’s been peaceful in Kerala so far. But clashes were reported between the top two parties in Tamil Nadu in Oddanchatram.
9.45am: Supremo of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) ‘Captain’ Vijayakanth casts his vote at Saligramman, Chennai.