DMK, AIADMK keep fingers crossed

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Chennai: With mixed predictions by exit polls and pre-poll surveys, the ruling DMK and arch rival AIADMK are keeping their fingers crossed on what is in store for them on Friday when counting of votes for the April 13 assembly elections will be taken up.

The huge turnout in the elections has puzzled leaders of DMK and AIADMK fronts, with each interpreting it as a trend in their favour.

The DMK leadership, emboldened by an exit poll by a channel and a Tamil weekly, is certain that they will head the state`s first-ever coalition government, while the AIADMK maintains the party will gain an absolute majority to form a ministry on its own in the state.

Both DMK president M Karunanidhi and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa are understood to have finalised their teams in case they are voted to power.

DMK sources said their leader would have a small team sworn in, which would be expanded later. AIADMK sources claimed Jayalalithaa would form the ministry in one go as she was hopeful of securing an absolute majority for her party.

The exit polls have left both camps bemused as their calculations have been upset.

The confidence expressed by Congress leader K V Thangkabalu and PMK founder S Ramadoss on two separate occasions after the polls helped create a feel-good factor among DMK cadres, until surveys by TV channels doused it.

While AIADMK has only the election results to worry about, the ruling alliance is pondering over other major issues that loom large in the backdrop of 2G investigations by the CBI.

The DMK has witnessed one of its Union ministers A Raja imprisoned, MP Kanimozhi and an associate TV company being questioned by the CBI and also its key ally Congress bargain hard for more seats – all in the last couple of months, leaving it shaky.

On the other hand, after having successfully struck an alliance with preferred parties and the lion`s share in the number of seats, the AIADMK leadership is now keen on not letting anything go wrong in the counting.

Reflecting her anxiety on this score, Jayalalithaa has shot off a complaint to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, asking for appointment of Data Entry operators of "integrity" for counting of votes.

In her complaint, she had alleged data entry operators facilitated the "fraudulent victory" of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram from Sivaganga in 2009. She claimed that during counting of votes for Sivaganga constituency, votes polled in favour of AIADMK candidate R S Raja Kannappan were entered in favour of Chidambaram and vice-versa.

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