Over 9.41 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise during Assembly polls today in 930 polling booths across the Union Territory. Three hundred and forty-four candidates are in the fray in 30 constituencies of Union Territory of Puducherry.
Here are key candidates:
N. Rangasamy , Chief Minister: The All India NR Congress leader has won five elections from 1991 to 2011. Now, he's contesting from Indira Nagar Constituency.
A. Namassivayam , Pradesh Congress Committee president: A relative of AINRC leader N.Rangasamy. He is hoping for a second term from the Villianur Constituency.
V. Vaithilingam , Congress leader: He's the leader of the Opposition and a former Chief Minister. He was elected for six consecutive times from Nettapakkam constituency, from 1985 to 2006. He's contesting from Kamaraj Nagar constituency this time.
P. Kannan , AIADMK leader: A veteran Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha MP. He quit the Congress to join the AIADMK. He is contesting the elections after 15 years. He's contesting from Raj Bhavan Constituency.
R. Siva , DMK leader: He was elected thrice from Orleanpet Constituency. Now, he's contesting from Orleanpet Constituency.
M.A.S. Subramaniyam , AIADMK leader: He's contesting from Mudaliarpet Constituency. He has won from Orleanpet constituency in 1985 and twice from Mudaliarpet.
V.Sabapathy alias Kothandaraman , AINRC Assembly Speaker: A Congress veteran, Sabapathy had quit the party to join the AINRC before the 2011 elections. He was a five-time legislator elected from Mudaliarpet in 1974, 1977, 1980, 1985 and 1991.
As it happened:
7.45 p.m.: Puducherry records 81.94 per cent voter turnout: Election Commission
5.30 p.m.: Watch the video as voters brave the rains to exercise their franchise at the Thiruvalluvar Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School pollimg booth, at Orleanpet constituency in Puducherry.
5.10 p.m.: 80.17 per cent polling recorded in Puducherry as of 5 p.m. | > Read more here
4.15 p.m.: 71.08 per cent polling recorded till 4 p.m. in Puducherry
4.00 p.m.: Voters wait in a queue to cast their vote at the Maruthi Higher Secondary school polling booth in Karuvadikuppam, in Puducherry on Monday. Photo: M. Samraj
3.30 p.m.: Voters wait in a queue to cast their vote at a polling booth in S.V. Patel Salai, in Puducherry on Monday. Photo: M. Samraj
3.00 p.m.: 66.29 per cent polling as of 3 p.m.
2.20 p.m.: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy leaves in his motorcycle after casting his vote at Thilasupet in Puducherry on Monday. Photo: M. Samraj
2:10 p.m.: Large number of passengers to Chennai stranded in Puducherry bus stand as only minimum number of buses are being operated by TNSTC and PRTC.
2:00 p.m.: Puducherry roads wore deserted look as there is skeleton transport services. Hotels, restaurants, tea shops and petty shops remain closed.
1:45 p.m.: Polling percentage till now 54.56 %
1.21 p.m.: 50.43 per cent polling at 1 p.m.
1.10 p.m.: Voting peaceful in sensitive polling booths at Kariamanickam in Nettapakkam constituency.
1 p.m.: 34.49 percent polling as of 1 p.m. in Puducherry
12.45 p.m.: Congress requests the Election Commission to extend poll time in Molapakkam upto 9 p.m.
12.29 p.m.: We expect the popular mandate as we have fulfiled all promises and implemented several welfare schemes, CM N. Rangasamy said after casting his vote.
12.14 p.m.: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy rode a motorcycle to the polling booth in Thilaspet and cast his vote.
12.10 p.m.: 32.41 per cent polling in Puducherry at 12 noon.
11:45 am: Polling Percentage is Puducherry as of 11 a.m. is 30.23%; Karaikal - 27.48 per cent; Mahe - 31.43 per cent; Yanam - 38.29 per cent.
11.18 a.m.: Puducherry District Collector P. Jawahar says there is no disturbance of poll anywhere due to power cut. He clarifies EVM functions based on battery power. Lighting issue is being addressed and electricity team is fully on the ground to rectify power issues, he says.
11.15 a.m.: 27.77 per cent polling in Puducherry as of 11 a.m.
11 a.m.: Polling stopped in Molapakkam due to power failure.
10.30 a.m.:Power cut in a booth at Lawspet.
10.13 a.m.: Heavy rains lash the city and voter turnout is affected.
10.10 a.m.:95 - year-old Sharadhamma after casting vote at Sri NKC Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Vaithikuppam.
10 a.m.: Puducherry registers 15.43 per cent as of 10 a.m.
9.52 a.m.: Power cuts in various parts of the city. Polling may be affected.
9.50 a.m.: Mr. Narayanasamy expresses hope that Congress and DMK alliance will form government in UT.
9.40 a.m.: Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader V. Narayanasamy casts his vote at Raj Bhavan constituency.
9.22 a.m: 13 per cent polling was reported till 9 am.
9.18 a.m.: Rains begin in Puducherry too.
9 a.m.: Leader of Opposition V. Vaithilingam will cast his vote in Madukkarai at 1 p.m.
8.45 a.m.: Polling is disturbed at some places in Karaikal region due to heavy rains and power cuts.
Congress leader V. Narayanasamy after casting his vote in Puducherry.
8.15 a.m.: Close contests are expected in Orleanpet and Raj Bhavan in the city, and Thirunallar and Neravy TR Pattinam in Karaikal enclave.
8.05 a.m.: Puducherry's voting percentage has been high in the last two Assembly elections. In 2011, the Union Territory recorded 85.52 per cent, and in 2006 it hit 86 per cent.
8 a.m.: Member of Parliament R. Radhakrishnan casts his vote at Pope John Paul College in Oulgaret constituency.
7.30 a.m.: Puducherry Chief Electoral officer Candavelou expects more polling percentage than previous year
7.10 a.m.: Booth slips were distributed to 92.3 per cent of electors in the district.
7.04 a.m. : Polling begins in 930 polling stations.
Puducherry Chief Electoral Officer V.Candavelou casts his vote at Government School in Raj Bhavan constituency.
Arrangements in place, says Election Officer
District Election Officer-cum-District Collector P. Jawahar has said >all arrangements are in place for polling which is scheduled to be held on Monday.
Mr. Jawahar said the randomisation of polling personnel were completed. They have been assigned the polling booths. Randomisation of micro-observers was done on Sunday. They will report directly to the Election Observer. In view of polling, no cinema will be screened in theatres of Puducherry from Sunday evening.
Explaining the arrangement to enable differently abled persons to cast their votes, Mr. Jawahar said over 200 differently abled persons had sought assistance and vehicles would be arranged to pick them from their area to the polling booth. Student volunteers would be deployed to assist them, he said.
Booth slips were distributed to 92.3 per cent of electors in the district.
AINRC woos voters with washing machines, set-top boxes
Taking competitive populism to a whole new level, AINRC president and Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has >promised washing machines to all registered ration card-holders in the Union Territory. The AINRC manifesto, which Mr. Rangasamy unveiled on Thursday, promises washing machines to an estimated 3.3 lakh households covered under the Public Distribution System; if implemented, the scheme could cost the exchequer at least Rs. 150 crore.
Lok Ayukta finds a mention in CPI (M) manifesto
The CPI (M) would urge the Centre to waive the over Rs. 6,000 crore outstanding loans due over the years from Puducherry. If voted to power, the PWF would also urge the Centre to sanction a special economic package of Rs.15,000 crore for development of the UT. Their manifesto also promised minimum support price of Rs. 4,000 per tonne for sugarcane and expedite the disbursal of arrears to the tune of Rs.18 crore with 15 per cent interest to sugarcane farmers. >More...
‘Congress aims to make Puducherry numero uno’
Their manifestoes contains freebies such as set-top boxes to all cardholders and wi-fi facility at vantage points. On education front, the party plans to teach Hindi and French as second language in the schools and to regulate the collection of fees by private schools. It also said a notification would be issued for the mandatory allocation of 50 per cent of seats in the engineering and medical colleges to government quota for the admission of students through CENTAC.
The party also promised waiver of educational loans of poor. >Continue reading...
Cong. tops list of crorepati candidates
As many as 96 out of the total 343 candidates contesting in the May 16 Assembly elections in the Union Territory are crorepatis, according to an >analysis of the election affidavits submitted before the Election Commission.
The Puducherry Assembly has a total of 30 elected members with the ruling All India N.R. Congress (AINRC) having 16 Legislators on its side.
On the Opposition side, the Congress has seven legislators while the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has five members and the DMK two members.