Day of Reckoning as TN Votes in Sixth Phase - The New Indian Express

Day of Reckoning as TN Votes in Sixth Phase

Published: 24th April 2014 07:31 AM

Last Updated: 24th April 2014 09:33 AM

After listening to a continuous barrage of political cacophony for about a month-and-a-half and then going through a day of eerie silence, over 5.5 crore voters in Tamil Nadu will go to 60,817 polling booths spread across 39 constituencies on Thursday to return representatives to the 16th Lok Sabha, whose formation could be a watershed moment in the nation’s history.

Voters also have an opportunity to reject all candidates in their constituency with the press of a button (NOTA) for the first time in a Parliamentary election. The elections will be historic for Tamil Nadu as well in many ways. One, the Congress is going it alone, perhaps with no other option, after a long time and the AIADMK is testing the waters, on its own volition, in all the constituencies and in the Union Territory of Puducherry seat.

Giving a clarion call to her cadre to ensure the party’s victory in all the 40 seats, Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa addressed 54 meetings travelling the length and breadth of the State since March 3, emerging as a potential prime ministerial candidate.

In the event of both the major national alliances, led by the Congress and BJP, falling short of required numbers after counting of votes on May 16 and if disparate parties across the nation form an alternative front, Jayalalithaa could well be spearheading it.

Another prime ministerial aspirant Rahul Gandhi failed to make an impact this season as he made just a solo visit to Ramanathapuram, while the man who would be the prime minister, according to many surveys, Narendra Modi, endeared himself to the voters of the State more effectively by addressing eight meetings in various places, besides calling on actor Rajinikanth and meeting with actor Vijay in Coimbatore.

Modi’s name resonated across the State as leaders of constituent parties of the rainbow coalition, which his party managed to forge by breaking the taboo hitherto attached to it in Tamil Nadu, sought votes ‘to usher in a Modi government at the Centre’.

In the process, the coalition that has diverse parties like the DMDK, MDMK and PMK came to be seen as a potent alternative to the AIADMK and DMK even in the 2016 Assembly polls.

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