The South Chennai parliamentary constituency twice elected dancer and actor Vyjayanthimala. When she contested for the first time in 1984 as the nominee of the Congress, she took on Era Sezhiyan, Janata Party leader and seasoned parliamentarian. In fact, Mr. Sezhiyan’s campaign slogan was: “Send me to the Lok Sabha. Send her to R.R. Sabha [an organisation promoting fine arts].” But, it was Ms. Vyjayanthimala who emerged victorious, defeating Mr. Sezhiyan by a margin of about 48,000 votes. In 1989, she beat Aladi Aruna of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam by nearly 1.25 lakh votes. In 1991, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, then allied to the Congress, chose to field its candidate in the constituency, depriving Ms. Vyjayanthimala of a possible third term in Parliament.

A solicitous CEC

With temperatures soaring around the country, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla says he has instructed the election authorities in States that go to the polls on May 13 to make sure that there is drinking water in all booths, as well as elementary first aid, including oral rehydration solution. “A shamiana will be a good idea to provide shade to people waiting to vote,” he told presspersons in Chennai on Tuesday. He added that he had asked the District Collectors to try and make it available wherever feasible.

Issued, but not delivered

Both the candidates of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Trinamool Congress for the Kolkata Uttar Lok Sabha constituency — Md. Salim and Sudip Bandopadhyay — have allegedly violated the election code of conduct on poll graffiti on the walls of private properties without consent. Both the candidates stay within a stone’s throw distance from the Kolkata Municipal Tribunal. The tribunal has issued summons to both to appear before it. Yet, the tribunal representative reportedly could not hand over the summons to either of the candidates due to their busy campaign schedule. Both of them said that they not received any such summons and have also wondered at the fact that the representative could not find them at their respective residences.

24 go for 49-O option

Two dozen voters in a Punjab village did not cast their votes for any candidate on Thursday. They visited polling booths and expressed their disapproval by exercising their right not to vote, election of?cials said. All these voters belonged to Duhi village near Nabha town, around 50 km from here, in Patiala constituency that saw an estimated 65 per cent turnout. ``Twenty-four voters of the same village near Nabha have utilised their right of not to vote through Section 49-O,'' said Kusumjit Sidhu, Chief Electoral Of?cer of Punjab. According to the provision 49-O in the Conduct of Elections Act, 1969, on election day a voter can go to the polling booth and after con?rming his/her identity and getting a ?nger marked, he/she needs to tell the presiding election of?cer about the wish not to vote.