Stalin, Rajnikanth cast votes in Tamil Nadu as all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies go to polls

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and his wife show their fingers marked with indelible ink after casting their votes for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, at a polling station in Chennai, Friday, April 19, 2024. Photo: PTI

Chennai: Polling began at 7 am on Friday in all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu for the 2024 general election, amid tight security arrangements. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, and his wife Durga Stalin cast their vote at a polling station here.

Celebrities including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Ajith were among the early voters. People arrived at the polling stations enthusiastically as early as 6.30 am and waited for their turn to vote, with personnel of the state and central police forces standing guard. As many as 190 companies of Central Armed Police Forces have been deployed.

In some polling stations like Kattuppalli in Tiruvallur wore a deserted look. Voting was delayed by an hour in some polling booths, such as the one near Tambaram coming under Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha segment, due to technical glitches in the electronic voting machines. Officials said they were attending to it. Several voters who lined up the queues said they preferred to cast their votes in the morning itself considering the 'scorching sun.' In total, 3,32,233 polling personnel have been deployed and 1.3 lakh police personnel are on poll duty.

The fate of 950 candidates will be decided by about 6.23 crore voters who are set to exercise their franchise in 68,321 polling stations. DMK's Dayanidhi Maran (Central Chennai), A Raja (Nilgiris) and Kanimozhi (Thoothukudi), BJP's K Annamalai (Coimbatore), L Murugan (Nilgiris) and Tamilisai Soundararajan (South Chennai), former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (Ramanathapuram), Congress party's Karti Chidambaram (Sivaganga), AIADMK's J Jayavardhan (South Chennai) and AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran (Theni) are among the prominent candidates. Polling also began in neighbouring Puducherry where the Congress and BJP are in a direct fight.-aia

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