Election campaigning ends in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Kerala

Campaigning ended today in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry for May 16 assembly polls, ringing the curtain down on the gruelling two-month-long exercise.

By: PTI | Chennai/thiruvananthapuram | Updated: May 14, 2016 7:50 pm
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Elections 2016, Kerala elections, Tamil Nadu elections, Puducherry elections, Election campaign ends, Kerala campaign ends, Tamil Nadu campaign ends, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, LDF, BJP, Oommen Chandy, UDF, Somalia, Jayalalithaa At Jayalalithaa’s campaign rally in Perundurai, Thursday. (Source: PTI)

Campaigning ended on Saturday in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry for May 16 assembly polls, ringing the curtain down on the gruelling two-month-long exercise.

The ruling Congress-led UDF is up against the LDF headed by CPI(M) in Kerala. For BJP, it is turning out to be a battle of prestige after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s whirlwind campaign and war of words with Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, and the party is keen to open its account in the Assembly.

A total of 2.61 crore people in Kerala are eligible to cast their votes on May 16 to elect 140 law makers in the Assembly out of 1,203 candidates, including 109 women.

The LDF too will be facing another crucial contest to stage a comeback in Kerala as well as in West Bengal, where the six-phase Assembly election ended on May 5.

The Left has a tie-up with Congress in West Bengal and the two sides took pains to assert that it will not affect their prospects in the two states.

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The last leg of poll campaign saw many national leaders canvassing for their parties. Though campaign started on state-centric issues like solar and bar bribery scams in Kerala, it took a new turn after Modi kicked up a row with his comparison of Kerala with Somalia.

Congress leader Chandy, heading the UDF campaign, was quick to latch onto the remark to hit back at BJP and Modi, saying “the Prime Minister has insulted the people of Kerala”.

There was also war of words between BJP and Chandy over the expenses borne for bringing back people from strife torn Libya to Kerala.

Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, party leaders A K Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI National Secretary Sudhakar Reddy, CPI(M) leader and Tripura Chief Minister Nirpuan Chakravorty, Former Prime Minister Deva Gowda, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were among the prominent politicians who took part in the campaign.

The BJP this time is fighting along with its key ally Bharath Dharam Jana Sena,(BDJS), a new party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a powerful outfit of backward Ezhava community.

Tamil Nadu is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with AIADMK, DMK-Congress, PWF-DMDK-TMC combine, BJP-led alliance and PMK in the fray.

More than 5.79 crore voters in 234 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu 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.

Jayalalithaa is seeking a second successive termin office in the state, where elections have dethroned the ruling party in recent decades.

While the opposition including DMK and BJP harped on prohibition and corruption, Jayalalithaa sought votes on her government’s five year-performance.

Flow of illegal money was a major challenge for electoral authorities which seized an unprecedented Rs 100 crore of unaccounted cash. Of this, Rs 37 crore had, however, been returned to the owners on submission of documents.

In Puducherry, 9.43 lakh voters will decide the fate of over over 300 candidates in 30 seats.

The election process announced for West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry assemblies on March 8 will conclude on May 19, when the results will be declared.

Assembly election concluded in two phases in Assam on April 11.

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  1. M
    MyTake
    May 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm
    Now they can contact Mamata to supply "Jamis" importing from Bangladesh! This has proved to be a great plus for anti-Modi parties!
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    1. R
      Raja
      May 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm
      Unlike before TN election is fought by parties in their individual capacity, which is likely to split the votes. No way to guess which of the two major parties will fare well.
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      1. S
        Syed Masood
        May 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm
        INDIA is a wonderful country in the world but the country's growth is paralyzed and it has not grown to its optimum level merely because we are affected by 4 kinds of deceases Caste-ism, Communal-ism, Regional-ism, Criminalization of Politics and Corruption. The w Indian political and bureaucracy is badly entangled into these. Only ordinary citizens can release our country from all evils provided they come out to the street independently. Where there is a will there is a way. One Political party accusing the other but altogether loot the country has been order of the day. Wake up Citizens and Save our Country. JAI HIND!!!!!!!!!!
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          George Cruz
          May 14, 2016 at 10:55 pm
          People like you are the solid proof that the Christians in Kerala are not secular nor tolerant. You know that Chandy is a corrupt but still you support him blindly. Joji, You are not a true Christian. Be God with you.
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            George Cruz
            May 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm
            The state of Kerala needs cleansing from the corruption of the UDF and LDF which are basically manned by the Christians/Muslims who think that they are secular/tolerant but are NOT, and it is high time the BJP make inroads into Kerala and take the state back from the corrupt congress and the communists. Even if the BJP won some seats this election that would spell the begining of the corruption in Kerala.
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