The polling for the crucial assembly polls in Tamil Nadu has begun at 7 am on Tuesday and is underway across the state where over 6.26 crore voters will be electing their representatives for the 234 assembly seats with around 4000 candidates in the fray. The state is going through the single-phase poll and the votes would be counted on May 2, during which the results would be announced.
Over 88,000 polling stations have been installed across the state and the voters have been queuing up to their respective booths to cast their votes. While the general public had lined up at the polling stations, top celebrities of Kollywood had also arrived in the morning hours of Tuesday to cast their votes. The visuals of the actors have been going viral on social media with many fans relished to see them directly or through the videos.
Actor Ajith Kumar, whom the fans fondly call 'Thala', has arrived at a polling station in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai along with his wife Shalini to cast his vote. What has drawn huge attention is that Ajith has become the first to cast the vote in Tamil Nadu as according to reports, he had registered his vote at around 6.55 am, five minutes prior to the scheduled start of polling.
The voters who had gathered at the polling station had rushed to greet him and take a selfie with Ajith. However, the actor has denied taking pictures and requested to maintain social distancing owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ajith was at the polling booth for over 15 minutes and left the booth. The visuals of Ajith at the polling booth casting his vote have been widely shared across social media.
Apart from Ajith, several actors including superstar Rajinikanth, Suriya, Karthi, and Jiiva had registered their votes in the morning hours of Tuesday at their respective polling stations. Tamil Nadu is voting for the first legislative election since the demise of political giants Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, which in a way makes the first election for Edappadi Palaniswami as the Chief Minister and for MK Stalin as the DMK President.
The state has 6,28,69,995 voters who are eligible to cast their votes on Tuesday of which men account for 3,09,23,651 and women account for 3,19,39,112. Around 7,192 voters in Tamil Nadu are transgender. 88, 937 polling stations have been installed across the state and a total of 4,17,521 personnel will be involved in the electoral process.
The Election Commission has unveiled arrangements to ensure that the COVID-19 patients would get a chance to cast their votes. The voters in Tamil Nadu who are in isolation due to COVID-19 can go to the polling booth between 6 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday and they can cast their votes.