Forty-two candidates are in the fray from Chennai South Lok Sabha constituency, which has always witnessed maximum number of contestants for general elections.
While 43 contestants locked horns for the same seat in the 2009 polls, 35 crossed swords in the 2004 elections, the highest number both times for any Lok Sabha constituency in the country, according to Election Commission of India statistics.
“Chennai South generally receives lot of nominations. As of now, I can say it has 42 candidates, the maximum in the state. But the national scene will be known only after the last phase, since electoral process is still going on in other states,” Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said.
Election Commission is planning to have one main control unit and three EVMs for each of the polling stations in Chennai South constituency, he said. While two of the EVMs would have 16 candidates, one EVM would have names of 10 candidates and the None of the Above Option (NOTA), he said.
Chennai South has sent political icons like former Union Finance Minister T T Krishnamachari, DMK founder and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C N Annadurai and former President R Venkataraman to the Lok Sabha. While former Union Minister and DMK leader T R Baalu has won this seat for four consecutive terms between 1996 and 2004, his party colleague Murasoli Maran won the seat twice in 1967 and 1971.
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Former President Venkataraman won the seat twice in 1977 and 1980 once each from Congress and Congress (Indira) respectively while actress and danseuse Vyjayanthimala Bali won twice in 1984 and 1989.
Of the 15 times since 1952, the Chennai South constituency went for polls, DMK won the seat eight times, Congress four, AIADMK two and Congress (Indira) one.
According to the statistics of the ECI, the maximum number of candidates in any constituency for any election in the country was at Modakurichi Assembly Constituency of Tamil Nadu in 1996, in which 1,033 candidates contested and the Election Commission was forced to give the ballot papers in the form of a booklet.