4.6 cr to vote for TN rulers in 24 hrs

The high-pitched campaign doused in vitriolic abuse and weird promises of more and more freebies came to a close Monday evening, leaving the gladiators gasping in the rival DMK and AIADMK camps as they had just three weeks to crisscross Tamil Nadu to gather votes for the April 13 poll.

It was perhaps the shortest campaign time that the TN politicos got in recent history as the Election Commission decided it would be unwise to let the money bags run around too long.

Summer sun was softer on the campaign managers when compared to the heat of the hawk-eyed vigil by the Election Commission, which drew sharp criticism from chief minister M. Karunanidhi and even home minister P. Chidambaram who found the usual festive mood missing this poll time.

There were no cutouts and not many posters. Many candidates decided it was safer to walk than to be caught by the Election Commission in their gleaming Scorpios.

Men outnumber women by a little over two lakhs in the total of about 4.6 crore voters electing 234 members in the state Assembly. The voters’ list for the first time has a third classification, ‘others’, as 844 transgenders have got their voting right.

While AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa wound up her campaign in Chennai reiterating her appeal that the DMK’s family rule must be voted out, chief minister M. Karunanidhi tugged at the heartstrings in hometown Tiruvarur.

“We will get enough seats to form the government,” the DMK patriarch replied, when reporters sought his scorecard.

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