Tamil film-star and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan (Image credit: News18)

Kamal Haasan accuses BJP of distributing cash to voters

Election for 475 Assembly seats spread in four states and one Union Territory and by-poll for two Lok Sabha constituencies evoked good response with West Bengal once again witnessing the highest turnout. More than 83 per cent voters exercised their adult franchise in 31 Assembly segments in the state. 

The percentage for 40 seats of Assam was also around 83, which is highest in the three phases. In the first two phases, Assam had witnessed around 77 per cent polling.

Among those whose fate was sealed in the state today was that of Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who is contesting from Jalukbari Assembly seat for the sixth consecutive time. He had been representing this seat as the Congress candidate between 2001 and 2015, after which he quit the party and crossed over to the BJP.

Puducherry, Kerala and Tamil Nadu registered 75, 72 and 66 per cent votes respectively.

Sporadic violence and reports of irregularities have come from some places in West Bengal.

However, the most serious allegation was levelled by the Tamil film-star, Kamal Haasan, against the rival BJP candidate Vanathi Srinivasan in south Coimbatore Assembly constituency. He charged the BJP with distributing cash to voters even before the polling had actually started. His party had filed a complaint in this regard to the Election Commission. Kamal Haasan is the candidate of Makkal Needhi Maiam from this constituency. He had floated this party only last year.

This is the first election in the state fought after the death of two stalwarts, J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK and K Karunanidhi of the DMK.

With today’s polling voting has concluded in three states and one Union Territory, barring West Bengal. Here election in five more phases will continue till April 29 and the results would be announced on May 2.

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