The ruling AIADMK, steered by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, is keen to ensure continuation of ”Amma aatchi” (Amma’s rule) for an unprecedented third time

Will it be a hat-trick of wins or a political upheaval in Tamil Nadu?

That’s the question that will be answered with elections to 234 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu scheduled for 6 April and counting of votes set for 2 May.

Follow coverage on Assembly election 2021 here

With voters set to render their verdict, respective political blocs headed by the AIADMK, DMK, AMMK and newbie Makkal Needhi Maiam, are billing themselves as the best choice before the electorate.

The ruling AIADMK, steered by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, is keen to ensure the continuation of ”Amma aatchi” (Amma’s rule) for an unprecedented third time while DMK president M K Stalin has invested all his resources to upset his rival’s hopes and reverse the wheel of fortune.

The DMK, ousted in 2011 following a dismal show due to a number of factors including the severe power cuts, put up a more spirited performance five years later, getting elevated as the principal Opposition party.

In the first Assembly election fought in the absence of towering late leaders J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, the BJP is also putting up a good fight, hoping to romp home with the blessings of the Lord Muruga.

As many as 3,998 candidates, including Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan are in the fray.

Over 6.28 crore eligible voters will choose 234 members of the 3,998 contesting the elections.


Here is a list of constituencies that will go to the polls today:

Constituency Number Constituency Name
1 Gummidipoondi
2 Ponneri
3 Tiruttani
4 Thiruvallur
5 Poonamallee
6 Avadi
7 Maduravoyal
8 Ambattur
9 Madavaram
10 Thiruvottiyur
11 Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar
12 Perambur
13 Kolathur
14 Villivakkam
15 Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar
16 Egmore
17 Royapuram
18 Harbour
19 Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni
20 Thousand Lights
21 Anna Nagar
22 Virugambakkam
23 Saidapet
24 T. Nagar
25 Mylapore
26 Velachery
27 Sholinganallur
28 Alandur
29 Sriperumbudur
30 Pallavaram
31 Tambaram
32 Chengalpattu
33 Thiruporur
34 Cheyyur
35 Maduranthakam
36 Uthiramerur
37 Kancheepuram
38 Arakkonam
39 Sholingur
40 Katpadi (Vellore North)
41 Ranipet
42 Arcot
43 Vellore (Vellore south)
44 Anaikattu
45 K. V. Kuppam
46 Gudiyattam
47 Vaniyambadi
48 Ambur
49 Jolarpet
50 Tirupattur, Vellore
51 Uthangarai
52 Bargur
53 Krishnagiri
54 Veppanahalli
55 Hosur
56 Thalli
57 Palacode
58 Pennagaram
59 Dharmapuri
60 Pappireddippatti
61 Harur
62 Chengam
63 Tiruvannamalai
64 Kilpennathur
65 Kalasapakkam
66 Polur
67 Arani
68 Cheyyar
69 Vandavasi
70 Gingee
71 Mailam
72 Tindivanam
73 Vanur
74 Villupuram
75 Vikravandi
76 Tirukkoyilur
77 Ulundurpettai
78 Rishivandiyam
79 Sankarapuram
80 Kallakurichi
81 Gangavalli
82 Attur
83 Yercaud
84 Omalur
85 Mettur
86 Edapadi
87 Sankagiri
88 Salem (West)
89 Salem (North)
90 Salem (South)
91 Veerapandi
92 Rasipuram
93 Senthamangalam
94 Namakkal
95 Paramathi Velur
96 Tiruchengodu
97 Kumarapalayam
98 Erode (East)
99 Erode (West)
100 Modakkurichi
101 Perundurai
102 Bhavani
103 Anthiyur
104 Gobichettipalayam
105 Bhavanisagar
106 Dharapuram
107 Kangayam
108 Avanashi
109 Tiruppur (North)
110 Tiruppur (South)
111 Palladam
112 Udumalaipettai
113 Madathukulam
114 Udhagamandalam
115 Coonoor
116 Gudalur
117 Mettupalayam
118 Sulur
119 Kavundampalayam
120 Coimbatore North
121 Thondamuthur
122 Coimbatore (South)
123 Singanallur
124 Kinathukadavu
125 Pollachi
126 Valparai (SC)
127 Palani
128 Oddanchatram
129 Athoor
130 Nilakottai (SC)
131 Natham
132 Dindigul
133 Vedasandur
134 Aravakurichi
135 Karur
136 Krishnarayapuram (SC)
137 Kulithalai
138 Manapaarai
139 Srirangam
140 Tiruchirappalli (West)
141 Tiruchirappalli (East)
142 Thiruverumbur
143 Lalgudi
144 Manachanallur
145 Musiri
146 Thuraiyur (SC)
147 Perambalur (SC)
148 Kunnam
149 Ariyalur
150 Jayankondam
151 Tittakudi (SC)
152 Vriddhachalam
153 Neyveli
154 Panruti
155 Cuddalore
156 Kurinjipadi
157 Bhuvanagiri
158 Chidambaram
159 Kattumannarkoil
160 Sirkazhi
161 Mayiladuthurai
162 Poompuhar
163 Nagapattinam
164 Kilvelur
165 Vedaranyam
166 Thiruthuraipoondi (SC)
167 Mannargudi
168 Thiruvarur
169 Nannilam
170 Thiruvidaimarudur
171 Kumbakonam
172 Papanasam
173 Thiruvaiyaru
174 Thanjavur
175 Orathanadu
176 Pattukkottai
177 Peravurani
178 Gandharvakottai
179 Viralimalai
180 Pudukkottai
181 Thirumayam
182 Alangudi
183 Aranthangi
184 Karaikudi
185 Tiruppattur
186 Sivaganga
187 Manamadurai (SC)
188 Melur
189 Madurai East
190 Sholavandan (SC)
191 Madurai North
192 Madurai South
193 Madurai Central
194 Madurai West
195 Thiruparankundram
196 Tirumangalam
197 Usilampatti
198 Andipatti
199 Periyakulam (SC)
200 Bodinayakanur
201 Cumbum
202 Rajapalayam
203 Srivilliputhur
204 Sattur
205 Sivakasi
206 Virudhunagar
207 Aruppukkottai
208 Tiruchuli
209 Paramakudi (SC)
210 Tiruvadanai
211 Ramanathapuram
212 Mudhukulathur
213 Vilathikulam
214 Thoothukudi
215 Tiruchendur
216 Srivaikuntam
217 Ottapidaram (SC)
218 Kovilpatti
219 Sankarankovil (SC)
220 Vasudevanallur (SC)
221 Kadayanallur
222 Tenkasi
223 Alangulam
224 Tirunelveli
225 Ambasamudram
226 Palayamkottai
227 Nanguneri
228 Radhapuram
229 Kanniyakumari
230 Nagercoil
231 Colachal
232 Padmanabhapuram
233 Vilavancode
234 Killiyoor

A virtual non-player in the past elections which it faced on its own, the BJP, in alliance with the AIADMK, this time is harping on several issues including Tamil culture and pride, after taking on those who allegedly denigrated ”kandasashti kavacham”, a hymn sung in praise of Tamil God Murugan (Lord Muruga).

MNM leader, actor Kamal Haasan is making his electoral debut in 2021, seeking his fortunes from Coimbatore South, part of the western region often hailed as AIADMK’s fortress.

Comprising the districts of Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur Salem and Namakkal, among others, the western region has generally stood behind the ruling party, returning a large chunk of MLAs, including Palaniswami from his home turf Edapadi in Salem in the outgoing assembly.

Stalin has demonstrated his keenness to make inroads in these districts and is leaving no stone unturned to achieve the goal. The DMK is also banking on its alliance’s win in all the Lok Sabha seats in the western parts in 2019 to recreate the performance at a more micro level to sweep the assembly segments as well. Its allies include Congress and the Left.

While a number of pre-poll surveys have indicated a DMK win, some a sweep, the AIADMK is not willing to buy them.

Leaders including Palaniswami have dismissed any kind of anti-incumbency of ten years, calling them a creation of the DMK and insist that the party’s pro-people initiatives will take it beyond the finish line comfortably.

AIADMK functionaries insist that the ground reality is different. The party’s assurances like free washing machines, six free cylinders a year and houses will convince even the undecided voter to choose their candidates.

Having faced the 2016 elections on its own, under the late Jayalalithaa, AIADMK has aligned with the BJP and PMK and some other local outfits. The party then won 135 seats.

The alliance is being described as a combination of Leaves, Flower and Fruit, alluding to their respective symbols.

The AIADMK’s symbol is Two Leaves, Lotus being that of the BJP and Mango is the PMK’s election symbol. The ruling side is also confident that its two reservation proposals – the 7.5 percent quota in medical education for government school students clearing NEET and the 10.5 percent internal reservation for the Vanniyar community, whose interests the PMK claims to represent, will also help it.

A PMK leader told PTI that the Vanniyars will rally behind the AIADMK and by no chance would vote for the DMK.

But, the reservation offering seems to have led to some murmurs in the southern parts, another AIADMK bastion, among the other local dominant castes.

The DMK, on the other hand, is counting on its umbrella combine to recreate the 2019 magic, where it won 38 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats and is riding high on the various surveys giving it the edge.

However, Stalin has cautioned partymen against any complacency. He has trained his guns against the AIADMK, especially for aligning with BJP, which is still finding it hard to get a firm footing in the Dravidian land. However, the BJP has managed to push its own narrative, managing to bring to the fore the issue of faith and the ”Hindu renaissance,” something the rationalist DMK could not ignore.

Faith, generally, has not been an election topic in Tamil Nadu but the controversy surrounding ”Karuppar Koottam”, an atheist group with alleged DMK links accused of denigrating ”kandasashti kavacham”, prompted the BJP to launch a Vel Yatra, combining the issue with Tamil pride.

Party stalwarts – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, among others, did not miss an opportunity to strike the right chord, commencing their rallies with the cry “Vetrivel Veeravel,” dedicated to Lord Muruga, and often intertwining the issue with Tamil pride and culture.

DMK, known for its rationalist ideology, came under such severe attack from the BJP, AIADMK and right-wing groups that Stalin had to clarify his party was not against any particular faith and cited his wife visiting temples and many DMK functionaries sporting vermilion and sacred ash on their forehead. The DMK is also facing backlash over its leader A Raja’s alleged offensive remarks against Palaniswami’s mother, which prompted the EC to bar him from campaigning in the last phase of the election.

This election, after a long time, sees a new player, actor Kamal Haasan, who has jumped into the fray with a centrist agenda, all though he has his critics on either side of the political spectrum.

Many left and Periyarist leaders question his secular credentials while the right-wing claims he is an ardent left sympathiser combined with a Dravidian agenda.

He is fighting the battle from Coimbatore South, from a city that has returned both AIADMK and BJP MPs in the past and his rivals are BJP women’s wing leader Vanathi Srinivasan and Congress’ Mayrua Jayakumar, both local faces.

Actor-director Seeman’s Naam Tamizhar Katchi is also in the fray, making it a multi-cornered fight.

With inputs from PTI

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