Karunanidhi refrains from casting vote for Presidential polls
By Express News Service | Published: 17th July 2017 01:08 PM |
CHENNAI: The presidential elections in Chennai was over at 11.56 am, with the ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi being the only absentee.
In all, 232 MLAs from Tamil Nadu; Parakkal Abdulla, IUML MLA from Kerala, and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who have got special permission from Election Commission, cast their votes at the secretariat in Chennai.
The polling began at 10 am; the first vote was cast by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami followed by Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, Leader of Opposition M K Stalin, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
“It is a secret ballot," said the chief minister, declining to reveal which candidate he had cast his vote for.
However, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had no such concern. “NDA’s *Vetri Vetpalar* (winning candidate) will register a massive victory," he said.
Though the polling was over after senior AIADMK member S Semmalai -- now in the rebel ranks -- voted, the polling booth will remain open till 5 pm as per the rules, Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni told mediapersons.
The two major factions of the AIADMK headed by Chief Minister Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, and the third one headed by deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran had declared their support for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
Thameemun Ansari, MLA from AIADMK ally Jananayaka Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, had declared his support for Opposition candidate S Meira Kumar.
DMK’s 88 MLAs, eight MLAs from Congress, one MLA from IUML, too, supported Meira Kumar.