New Delhi: After weeks-long campaign sessions, marathon rallies and mammoth road shows, the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry will vote in the third phase of the eight-phased election today, NDTV reported. Voting in West Bengal and Assam - which voted in the first two phases - will also take place in the third phase.
Over 20 crore people from Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are voting the mammoth electoral exercise today.
Along with the state polls, voting will also take place for Lok Sabha bypolls for Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari and Kerala's Malappuram seats.
In Kerala, some 2.74 crore voters will exercise their rights to decide the fate of 957 candidates including high-profile leaders and independents in 140 Assembly constituencies across the state. The ruling LDF is hoping to retain power for a second consecutive term breaking the state's four-decades-old trend of alternating between the UDF every five year.
Neighbouring Tamil Nadu will witness a close fight between AIADMK-BJP combine and the DMK-Congress coalition. Actor-politician Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam, and TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam are also contesting for the 234 seats in the state.
Meanwhile, the union territory of Puducherry will see a contest between the Congress-DMK alliance and the opposition tie-up of All India NR Congress, BJP, and AIADMK.
In Assam - which has voted in the first two phases - voting will be held in 40 seats. Bengal, which will also vote in the third phase, will see polling in 31 seats.