A long, gruelling election season draws to a close in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry with polling to be held on Monday.
Tamil Nadu goes to the polls amidst continuing controversies, with smaller parties alleging that the AIADMK and the DMK bribed voters. Soon after the announcement of deferment of polling in Thanjavur, BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalvan demanded postponement of polling across the State.
Directive to Karunanidhi
The Commission, on a petition from the AIADMK, directed DMK leader M. Karunananidhi not to post any political comments on social media as long as the model code of conduct was in vogue.
The two Dravidian majors were under pressure on Sunday evening to come up with last-minute replies to an Election Commission notice asking how they would finance the freebies promised.
“The reply of the AIADMK has come, and the DMK has requested more time for a response. [The] matter is under the Commission’s consideration,” Joint Chief Electoral Officer Ajay Yadav said. Election Commission officials in New Delhi told The Hindu that the AIADMK had given the rationale behind its poll promises, while the DMK sought more time to furnish a detailed response.
Though no such charges have been aired in Kerala, the frisson the elections have generated is no less. The traditional arrangement of a two-front fight has been disrupted this time, with the BJP making a push at least to open its account in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
The cash-for-vote phenomenon was so evident in Tamil Nadu that polling has been deferred in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi. PMK chief ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss submitted a petition to the Chief Electoral Officer, accusing the Commission of failing to curb payment of money. Arrangements are in place in the State for the polling in 232 constituencies. But the Met Department issued a depression warning.