TN, Kerala leaders confident of wins, 1 month wait for result

Tamil Nadu and Kerala CMs -- M Karunanidhi and VS Achuthanandan – oozed confidence about a victory for their alliances and their rival fronts led by AIADMK and Congress were equally optimistic.

Chennai/Alappuzha: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Chief
Ministers -- M Karunanidhi and V S Achuthanandan – on Wednesday oozed
confidence about a victory for their alliances and their rival
fronts led by AIADMK and Congress were equally optimistic but
it will be an arduous one-month wait for the D-day.

The fate of the three southern heavyweights--
Karunanidhi (86), Achuthanandan(87) and AIADMK chief
Jayalalithaa (63)-- were sealed in today`s Assembly polls,
perhaps the closest electoral battle in the two states of
Tamil Nadu and Kerala. All the three are contesting the
elections and cast their votes.
As party leaders kept a close watch on the mood of the
voters in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the
Union territory of Puducherry to get some clues on which way
the wind was blowing, there was no dearth of optimism among
the ruling and opposition fronts in forming the next
government. Counting of votes will be taken up on May 13.

A confident Karunanidhi, the DMK supremo, even hinted at
a possible coalition government, a key issue said to have been
raised by long-time ally Congress as a post-poll arrangement.
"Our prospects are as bright as the Rising Sun (DMK`s
symbol) and we will win as many seats as we require to form
government," he told reporters in Chennai.

Asked about the possible composition of his government,
he said it could either "be our own or a coalition

During the tough seat-sharing bargaining between Congress
and DMK, the national party is said to have made a strong
pitch for a share in power.

The Congress has been out of power in Tamil Nadu since
1967 when it was unseated by the DMK, then under party founder
C N Annadurai.

Jayalalithaa, a former chief minister, expressed
confidence that her party along with alliance parties would
win the polls and regain power to form the next government.

Both Karunanidhi, leading the DMK-Congress combine and
Jayalalithaa, heading the AIDMK-led front, are contesting
elections from their native Tiruvarur and Srirangam

Deputy Chief Minister and Karunanidhi`s son M K Stalin
also sounded confident of a DMK sweep claiming that its front
would win around 200 seats on the basis of the government`s
populist measures and the overall performance.

In neighbouring Kerala, Achuthanandan, a CPI-M stalwart,
expressed confidence at the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic
Front`s(LDF) showing.

"We will win majority both in Malampuzha and the state`,
Achuthanandan told reporters after visiting some booths here.

The CPI(M) warhorse had left for Alappuzha this morning
to cast his vote after his yoga and early breakfast in
Malampuzha in Palakkad district from where he is contesting.

Kerala Home Minister and CPI-M leader Kodiyeri
Balakrishnan said LDF will better its 2006 performance in the
assembly elections.

Opposition United Democratic Front(UDF) leader Oommen
Chandy of Congress contesting from Puthupally in Kottayam and
his party colleague Ramesh Chennithala, trying his luck from
Haripad in Alapuzha, were confident of the Congress-led front
doing well at the hustings.