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Tamil Nadu Polls: Rajinikanth, MNM chief Kamal Haasan cast votes

A single-phase polling for the Tamil Nadu Assembly began at 7 am for 234 constituencies in 38 districts, on Tuesday.

File photos of Rajinikath and Kamal Haasan (Image Courtesy: Twitter handle of respective actors)

New Delhi: Actor-politician Rajinikanth cast his vote at a polling booth in Stella Maris of Tamil Nadu’s Thousand Lights constituency on Tuesday. A single-phase polling for the Tamil Nadu Assembly began at 7 am for 234 constituencies in 38 districts on Tuesday.

Later, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan, contesting candidate from the Coimbatore South assembly constituency, cast his vote at Teynampet. He was accompanied by his daughters Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan.

This time, in order to combat COVID-19 spread, the number of polling stations was increased to 88,937. For security and adherence of COVID-19 norms, 74,162 personnel from Tamil Nadu Local and Armed Reserve (AR) Police, 8,010 personnel from Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) and 23, 200 personnel from the CAPF have been deployed for the elections, according to the Tamil Nadu Police.

The Authorities have also deployed 34,130 non-police personnel including Home Guard, Forest Guard, Retired Police, and ex-CAPF along with 6,350 police personnel and 12,411 Home Guard from other states.

In the past few months, Tamil Nadu witnessed fierce electoral battles between M Karunanidhi of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and J Jayalalitha of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for over three decades. This time too the head-to-head battle in nearly 130 constituencies is between the two arch-rivals the ruling AIADMK and MK Stalin-led DMK, which has been out of power since 2011.

As per an earlier announcement made by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, only 1000 voters will be allowed to cast their votes per poll booth. The state has made provisions to increase the number of polling booths by 23,000 booths keeping in line with the COVID-19 safety protocol. The state authorities have made it mandatory that each polling booth will be allotted only 1000 voters as against the norm of 1500 voters.

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According to the Election Commission, as per the final electoral rolls of Special Summary Revision, 2021, the total electorate in Tamil Nadu is 6,26,74,446 including 3,08,38,473 males, 3,18,28,727 females and 7,246 third gender. The counting of votes will be done on May 2.

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