Public holiday on election dayCHENNAI: The State Government has notified May 8 as a public holiday on account of the Assembly elections. The Tamil Nadu Government Gazette Extraordinary issued on Friday said the holiday had been declared under Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

All Government offices including industrial establishments of the Government, Government controlled bodies and all educational institutions in the State would remain closed on the polling day, it said.

Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said employers of industrial and commercial establishments had been advised by the Labour Department to declare paid holiday for their employees as per Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Special Correspondent

Sonia to campaign in Tamil NaduCHENNAI: All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi will undertake a day's tour of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to campaign for candidates of the Democratic Progressive Alliance in the May 8 Assembly elections.

According to TNCC president M. Krishnasswamy, Ms. Gandhi who would arrive here from Kerala on April 25 would proceed to Pondicherry to address a public meeting. Later she would speak in Madurai and Chennai to canvass for the DPA candidates. In Chennai, DPA leaders would participate, he said. Special Correspondent

Samajwadi Party forms 'Social Justice Front'CHENNAI: A "Social Justice Front," consisting of various parties, under the leadership of Samajwadi Party (SP), has been formed and it will contest in 70 constituencies in the May 8 Assembly elections on the "cycle symbol." Under its head the Republican Party of India, Peasants and Workers Party, Makkalkatchi, Marumalarchi Makkal Tamil Desam, Makkal Pudiya Tamilagam, Makkal Congress (Vazhapadiar) and the Oppressed Communities Federation have formed the Front which has winning chances in about 10 constituencies and will give a tough fight in other segments, SP State president, M. Gopalakrishnan, said. Special Correspondent

New Justice Party to support DPA in PondyPONDICHERRY: The Pondicherry unit of the New Justice Party (NJP) has decided to withdraw its candidates from Muthialpet, Thattanchavady and Cassicade constituencies. It would instead support the nominees of the Congress, the DMK and the other constituents of the DPA in the polls. Party president S. Ponnurangam said in a release. Special Correspondent