This 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly election has been garnering attention ever since the parties announced their candidates' list and manifesto. While interesting alliances have been formed, prominent first-timers have also thrown their hat into the ring. The battle lies between the 'Amma'-driven AIADMK, which seeks a third consecutive victory, and the DMK, which had served as the opposition for the past 10 years. But parties like Naam Tamizhar Katchi, TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK, and Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maim are also expected to feature heavily in today's electoral counting.
Listed below are the star constituencies that all will be keeping an eye on, featuring prominent political leaders from current Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to Udhayanidhi Stalin’s maiden appearance.
Considered Edappadi Palaniswami's home constituency, the Chief Minister has won from this constituency four times during the elections held in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016 assembly polls, but has also lost in the 1996 and 2006 polls to the PMK. Despite the DMK fielding a first-timer, Salem (West) deputy secretary T Sampath Kumar, the party was confident that they will have a sweeping victory against EPS.
Bodinayakanur, which is represented by Panneerselvam in the last two terms, remains a stronghold for the AIADMK. Panneerselvam’s electoral career started from Periyakulam, from where he contested and won twice in 2001 and 2006. After that Assembly constituency was reserved for SC/ST, he opted for Bodinayakanur constituency in 2011 and 2016.
The party has strong roots in this Assembly constituency, having won it seven times since 1971. OPS faces Thanga Tamilsevan, former AIADMK MLA who shifted base to DMK camp, after a brief partnership with AMMK's TTV Dinakaran.
The Triplicane Constituency has DMK's Udhayanidhi Stalin who is contesting his maiden election, and will be going against PMK's Kaasali.
DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, the managing trustee of Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF) and who rose to fame after the Jallikattu protest, will be competing against AIADMK’s organizing secretary SP Velumani in this constituency.
Current Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar and DMK MLA V Senthil Balaji are the rival forces contesting from Karur.
The Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar has been contesting from Royapuram and has emerged victorious five times since 1991. He will be facing DMK's candidate and businessman iDream R Murthy.
It's expected to be a tough fight between DMK’s Ma Subramanian and AIADMK’s Saidai Duraisamy, as both former city mayors duke it out for this constituency.
The DMK’s MLA KKSS Ramachandran will take on former AIADMK minister S Vaigaiselvan. This is the third time they are contesting against each other.
Apart from the tussle between the AIADMK and DMK, this constituency gains special attention as Naam Tamilar Katchi coordinator Seeman also throws his hat into the ring against former MLA and AIADMK representative K Kuppan and DMK's KP Shankar.
It’s a three-way contest between AIADMK’s incumbent Information Minister Kadambur C Raju, CPM’s K Srinivasan, and general secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) TTV Dhinakaran.
The battle in Coimbatore is between charismatic and larger-than-life candidates. MNM chief Kamal will take on BJP candidate, Vanathi Srinivasan, who is the National President of Mahila Morcha, the party's woman's wing. While Srinivasan contests as part of the AIADMK-BJP alliance, Congress leader Mayura Jayakumar is contesting in this constituency to represent the DMK-Congress alliance. Lastly, AMMK candidate and former AIADMK leader, R Doraisamy will also throw his hat into the ring.