Chennai: Polling for by-elections to five Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu, boycotted by the principal opposition AIADMK and its two allies, began here Tuesday morning.
Sixty candidates are trying their electoral fortunes in Bargur, Cumbum, Ilayankudi, Thondamuthur and Srivaikuntam.
AIADMK, MDMK and PMK are boycotting the polls claiming they would not be "free and fair" with the DMK ruling in the state and Congress-led UPA at the Centre. But CPI(M) and CPI are in the fray much to the dismay of their front head AIADMK.
Around 5,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure that the polling process in peaceful.
The by-polls were necessitated by the resignation or death of MLAs in these constituencies. Former MDMK leaders Cumbum Ramakrishnan and M Kannappan quit the Vaiko-led party to join the DMK, in the process resigning as MLAs of Cumbum and Thondamuthur, respectively.