The nearly two month-long gruelling campaigning during the peak summer for the May 16 Tamil Nadu assembly election comes to an end today.
More than 5.79 crore voters in 234 assembly constituencies will decide the fate of 3,776 aspirants, including four Chief Ministerial candidates -- incumbent J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK, DMK’s M Karunanidhi, DMDK’s Vijayakant and Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK.
The curtains will come down on the campaigning at 5 PM today, giving the leaders a breather from the hectic and punishing schedule during which they criss-crossed the length and breadth of the state wooing voters.
Tamil Nadu is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with AIADMK, DMK, PWF-DMDK-TMC combine, BJP-led alliance and PMK in the fray.
Jayalalithaa is seeking a record second successive term in office in the state, where elections have dethroned the ruling party in the recent decades.
The Election Commission has taken all steps to ensure a high voting percentage, with its #Mission100percent awareness campaign that saw actors, sports persons and other celebrities besides social network platform Twitter and Facebook being roped in to educate the voters to cast their democratic right.
As many as 65,616 polling booths have been set up in 234 constituencies in 32 districts of the state, up from the 54,016 in 2011.
As many as 6,300 booths have been identified as sensitive, where security and other monitoring mechanisms have been stepped up.
Of the 234 seats, 44 (SC) and two (ST) are reserved constituencies. In 17 constituencies, the EC is implementing Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), which will enable a voter to verify that his vote has been cast to the intended candidate.