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None of the seven major political parties in Tamil Nadu secured 50 per cent of votes in the Parliamentary elections in 2009, a study released by Tamil Nadu Election Watch on Thursday revealed.

The DMK managed to get only 25 per cent of the total votes polled, which amounted to 18 per cent of the total registered voters in the State. The AIADMK got 23 per cent of the votes cast, amounting to 17 per cent of the total voters.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Tamil Nadu Election Watch coordinator Dr Sudarshan Padmanabhan said Tamil Nadu has 41.64 lakh registered voters. In the 2009 Parliamentary elections, 30.39 lakh voters exercised their franchise, and the voter turnout percentage was 73 per cent.

He said of the 823 candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, only six per cent were women.

Interestingly, three crorepati MPs from Tamil Nadu did not declare their PAN details, though these declarations were part of the affidavit. They were D Napoleon and D Venugopal of the DMK and M Thambidurai of the AIADMK.

The study also said that 41 per cent of candidates having highest declared assets within their constituency and 18 per cent candidates with second highest declared assets won the elections. The election results, the report stated, was highly influenced by money power as 35 per cent of candidates, whose declared assets was more than Rs 5 crore, won. In contrast, only one per cent of the candidates with assets less than Rs 10 lakh won.

Of the 39 Lok Sabha MPs in 2009, 25 MPs were crorepatis as compared to 14 crorepati MPs in the 2004 Lok Sabha - an increase of 79 per cent. The average asset of an MP in 2004 Lok Sabha was Rs 1.99 crore. It rose to Rs 4.71 crore in 2009, an increase of 137 per cent, the study added.

The report also highlighted the criminalisation of politics. It said in 2004 Lok Sabha, only three MPs had serious criminal cases pending against them. In 2009, the figure rose to 10. Interestingly, of the 20 candidates with serious criminal record, only three won the elections. They include Thol Thirumavalan of the VCK and C Sivasami and O S Manian of the AIADMK.

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