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Toughest and closest poll in TN: campaign ends tomorrow

Written by: Staff

Chennai, May 5 (UNI) Campaign for the May 8 Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, described as the toughest and closest in the state's political history, will end at 1700 hrs tomorrow.

AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK President M Karunanidhi, actor-politician Vijayakanth, DMK Deputy General Secretary M K Stalin and State Ministers are some of the star candidates who are testing their electoral fortunes.

Equalling the searing summer heat, a high voltage campaign is being witnessed in the state, with both the ruling AIADMK and the Opposition DMK waging a do-or-die battle to take over the reins.

Announcement of freebies, political rhetoric and retorts, open challenges, personal attacks and charges of corruption marked the no-holds-barred campaign that has reached a crescendo with just three days left for the D-day.

Ms Jayalalithaa, who took the lead and hit the road first, chose to dwell on the achievements of her five-year rule this time, departing from her usual style of attacking opponents.

However, she never missed an opportunity to take to task the 13 Union Ministers from the state for having done 'precious little' for the development of Tamil Nadu.

When the DMK's attractive poll promises of free colour TV, one kg rice at Rs two, two acres of land and waiver of co-operative loans began to catch the imagination of voters, Ms Jayalalithaa also matched it with the announcement of 10 kg free rice, four grams of gold and waiver off co-operative loans.

While Ms Jayalalithaa consciously refrained from attacking her political rivals, her ally MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, launched a virulent attack on Mr Karunanidhi and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran for 'fostering dynastic politics.' His allegation that Mr Maran attempted to arm-twist Tata Group on the DTH deal created ripples both at the state and national level.

The AIADMK's other ally DPI General Secretary Thol Thirumavalavan focussed mainly in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, where his party had considerable influence.


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