The city will get its new Mayor on Friday. Will the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam make it four in a row? Will the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) taste its first victory in the (direct) election to the top political post of the city? Will Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) pull a surprise?

The answer to these questions will be known by noon on Friday as the counting of votes will be taken up at 8 a.m.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been in power in the Anna Maligai for three consecutive terms. Its candidates, P. Kuzhanthaivelu, and C. Ramachandran, had won successive elections in 1996 and 2001 when voters directly elected the Mayors. The party councillor, G. Thenmozhi, became the first woman Mayor in 2006, when the councillors elected her in an indirect election.

This time, the AIADMK Government has again reverted to direct election for the post of Mayor.

Though 28 candidates are in the fray (including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi candidate, Thiruma Moo Pasumpon, who has withdrawn from the contest), the election is keenly fought only among V.V. Rajan Chellappa (AIADMK), P. Packianathan (DMK) and K. Kaviarasu (Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam).

The councillors are no more going to elect the Mayor. However, the number of posts each party manages to win will decide the indirect election to the post of Deputy Mayor and the four zonal Chairpersons.

The city that had 72 wards till last election, now has 100 wards with the inclusion of 17 adjoining local bodies. However, only 99 wards went to the poll, after the election for ward 15 was countermanded following death of the AIADMK candidate.

Around 63 per cent of the 9,95,021 voters had exercised their franchise on Monday, during the first phase of polling.

Counting of votes for ward 1 to 23 would be taken up at the Government Medical College. The votes of wards 24 to 74 would be taken up at the American College. Counting of votes of the remaining wards will be taken up at the Tamil Nadu Polytechnic College.

EVMs used for the elections to the post of Mayor and councillor in each of the ward would be taken up for counting simultaneously.

Each round would have seven tables. Counting of votes for wards would be taken up one by one, the Corporation Commissioner, S. Natarajan, said in a statement.

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