4.72 cr voters go to polls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

4.72 cr voters go to polls

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Chennai
May 08, 2004 05:00 PM IST

Nearly 4.72 crore voters, including 2.39 crore women, are expected to exercise their franchise in all the 39 constituencies going for the Lok Sabha polls on May 10.

Nearly 4.72 crore voters, including 2.39 crore women, are expected to exercise their franchise in all the 39 constituencies going for the Lok Sabha polls on May 10 in Tamil Nadu, as the hectic campaign comes to a close on May 8.

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In the neighbouring Union Territory of Pondicherry, an estimated 6.36 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes on the same day to elect a single representative to the lower house of Parliament.

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A total of 571 candidates, including 23 women, are in the field in Tamil Nadu, while there are 21 contestants for the lone seat in Pondicherry.

While North Madras constituency will have the maximum number of over 20 lakh voters, Perambalur (Res) will have the minimum number of 9.99 lakh voters.

The South Madras constituency will have the maximum number of contestants -- 35, while Pollachi and Perambalur (both res) constituencies has only seven candidates each.

The fate of 11 former union ministers and leaders of several parties will be decided in the polls. They include TR Baalu (DMK - South Madras), AK Moorthy (PMK - Chengalpattu), Ginjee Ramachandran (MDMK - Vandavasi), E Ponnusamy (PMK - Chidambaram), KV Thangka Balu (Cong - Salem), R Prabhu (Cong -Nilgiris), Dr Subramanian Swamy (Janata - Madurai), A Raja (DMK - Perambalur) Dhanushkodi Adhithan (Cong - Tirunelveli), P Chidambaram (Cong - Sivaganga) and Pon Radhakrishnan (BJP - Nagercoil).

Some of the other prominent members, whose fate will be decided in the elections include Dayanidhi Maran, son of former Union minister 'Murasoli' Maran. He is making his electoral debut from Madras Central constituency.

Former President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, EVKS Elangovan (Gobichettipalayam), state unit President of the BJP, CP Radhakrishnan (Coimbatore), TTV Dinakaran (AIADMK - Periakulam), Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong -Myladuthurai) and Dr K Krishnasamy, Pudhiya Tamizhagam leader (Tenkasi), who is contesting on the JD(U) symbol, are the other prominent people in the electoral arena.

Lalitha Kumaramangalam, BJP and sister of former Union Minister and BJP leader, Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, is making her debut from Pondicherry now.

Friends have turned foes and vice versa in this election.

With the exit of DMK, MDMK, PMK from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance late last year, the ruling AIADMK in the state now has an electoral pact with the BJP. The Congress has joined hands with the DMK after a 24-year gap. The PMK, MDMK, the Communists and the IUML are all partners of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance now.

While AIADMK is contesting in 33 seats, it has given seven seats, including Pondicherry, to its only ally, the BJP.

In the other camp, while DMK is contesting 15 seats, it has allotted 10 to Congress, six, including Pondicherry, to PMK, four to MDMK, two each to CPI and CPI-M and one to the Indian Union Muslim League, which will contest on the DMK symbol.

Annoyed over denial of accommodation in the NDA, some of the Dalit and smaller parties have come together under the banner of 'People's Alliance'. The Pudhiya Tamizhagam, Makkal Tamil Desam, Dalit Panthers of India and Janata Dal (United) are fighting in 19 seats in Tamil Nadu, as part of the alliance.

The Janata party and New Justice Party are together fighting in 27 seats in the state.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and DMK Chief and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, bore the maximum brunt for the respective fronts in the campaign, each lasting nearly two months.

Prime Minister AB Vajpayee, his deputy LK Advani, BJP President Venkaiah Naidu had pitched on for the AIADMK-BJP campaign. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to address her only public meeting in Chennai on May 7, canvassing support for the DPA.

A battery of filmstars had also convassed support for their respective fronts.

In several hundred meetings, Jayalalithaa harped on Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin. Describing Sonia as 'half-baked and a novice politician', she asked voters to support only an India-born Vajpayee for the top post. But Karunanidhi saw no problem in Gandhi being elected to the top post.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

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