The Election Commission could countermand polls even if the voting was peaceful, said Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar on Monday, alluding to possible reports of violations of the code of conduct coming in later.
Campaigning for the April 13 assembly election in 234 constituencies came to an end on Monday evening, with the CEO registering 975 complaints from various parts of the state.
Praveen Kumar said the commission was keeping a watch on the situation and analysing the 975 complaints. “Our effort is to carry out free and fair elections and every step necessary for that will be taken, regardless what anyone may say,” he added.
“We consider every election booth critical.”
The commission will monitor the polling directly through the web camera in 10,000 booths and videograph polling in 5,000 others selected at random. The commission said it considered 20,000 booths “critical”.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi wound up his speech at Tiruvarur just at 5 pm on Monday while AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa ended her campaign at Anna Nagar in Chennai.
At Tiruvarur, a nostalgic Karunanidhi spoke about his childhood friends and fond memories of his youth and he felt happy about contesting from near the place where he grew up. He told the gathering that he bore no bitterness even towards his political adversaries and said he only wanted to make Tamil Nadu the front-ranking state and ensure welfare for all. He asked the people to vote for the DMK “if they believed the government had performed”.
Jayalalithaa went through parts of north Chennai and wound up her campaign asking people to throw out the “corrupt family rule”, the theme throughout her month-long travel across the state in her comeback bid. “We have got one opportunity to oust one-family rule from Tamil Nadu and hope you utilise this in your overall interests,” she said.