Tamil Nadu to go to polls on April 6, results out on May 2

Tamil Nadu to go to polls on April 6, results out on May 2
Tamil Nadu will go to polls in a single phase on April 6. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora made the announcement on Friday in New Delhi. The results of the elections will be declared on May 2. With the announcement of the poll schedule, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into force in Tamil Nadu. The expenditure limit for each constituency in Tamil Nadu for 2021 elections will be Rs 30.8 lakh. The notification for the election to Tamil Nadu will be March 12. Last date of nomination will be March 19. Last date to withdraw candidature will be March 22. The polling time has been increased by an hour in the evening owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of polling stations in Tamil Nadu for the upcoming elections will be 88,936, an increase of around 34% when compared to 2016, according to the CEC. The term of the incumbent government in Tamil Nadu ends on May 24, 2021. A total of 824 assembly constituencies in four states and one Union Territory will be going to the polls in 2021 summer, the CEC said. In Tamil Nadu, the fight will largely be between the ruling AIADMK and the DMK for the 234 seats in the state Assembly. The AIADMK, which has been in power for two consecutive terms, will look to win an unprecedented third term. The AIADMK has announced that it will continue its 2019 alliance with the BJP. It is still in talks with allies like Ramadoss’ PMK and Vijayakant’s DMDK, which had fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as part of the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK has also started receiving optional petitions from those who are interested in contesting the upcoming polls. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has expressed interest to contest from Edappadi constituency in Salem district, from where he was elected in 2016 also. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has expressed interest to contest from Bodinayakkanur in Theni district, which is his home turf from where he won in the Assembly polls in 2016. Meanwhile, the DMK, which has been out of power for 10 years, is hoping to win this time under the leadership of MK Stalin. This will be Stalin’s first Assembly polls as the chief of the party and without his father, former CM and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. The DMK is expected to continue its alliance from the 2019 elections with the Congress, VCK, Left parties and the MDMK among others. Seat-sharing talks are underway. Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is set to face its first ever state Assembly polls. The party, which was launched in 2018, is yet to announce an alliance, with Kamal Haasan ruling out a tie-up with the Dravidian majors. Meanwhile, TTV Dhinakaran has been declared the Chief Minister candidate of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). The party’s recent resolutions come even as TTV Dhinakaran’s aunt VK Sasikala, aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, hopes to wrest control of the AIADMK. Sasikala, who was released from jail after serving a four-year sentence, is barred from contesting polls for another six years. In 2016, the Tamil Nadu Assembly  polls saw a  three-way fight, with the AIADMK and DMK leading their own alliances and the Vijayakant-led DMDK leading a People’s Welfare Front (PWF) with Vaiko’s MDMK, Thirumavalavan’s VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and GK Vaasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress. The AIADMK front won a thumping majority and swept the polls with 134 seats. The DMK front won 98 seats while the PWF did not win any seats.

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