Elections 2021

AIADMK bounces back in by-polls

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on October 24, 2019

AIADMK cadres celebrate the victory of MR Muthamizhselvan by carrying him on their shoulders near the counting centre in Villupuram district on Thursday   -  SS Kumar

With Vikravandi, Nanguneri seats under its fold, AIADMK enjoys simple majority

The AIADMK’s victory in the bypolls to Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu comes as a morale booster to the ruling party ahead of 2021 elections. Only a few months ago, the AIADMK had suffered its worst defeat at the hands of DMK-Congress combine in the Lok Sabha polls.

With this win, the AIADMK will enjoy asimple majority of 125 seats in the 234-member Assembly.

The by-polls were necessitated in Vikravandi following the death of DMK MLA K Rathamani. In Nanguneri, Congress MLA H Vasanthakumar had quit as MLA after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari .

In Vikravandi, the AIADMK’s MR Muthamizhselvan polled 1,13,766 votes (60.29 per cent), while the DMK candidate N Pugazhenthi got 68,842 votes (36.48 per cent). Muthamizhselvan’s victory margin is 44,924 votes. K Kandasamy of Naam Tamilar Katchi garnered 2,918 votes to come third.

In Nanguneri, the ruling party’s Reddiarpatti V Narayanan polled 95,377 votes (55.88 per cent vote share). He beat Congress candidate R Manoharan by a margin of 33,445 votes, according to information available on the Election Commission of India website. The Congress candidate polled 61,932 votes (vote share of 36.29 per cent).

The AIADMK had lost both the seats to the DMK and Congress in 2016.

“People have voted for truth in the two by-elections,” Edapaddi K Palaniswami, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and coordinator of AIADMK, told newspersons at the party headquarters.

“We bow down to the judgement of the people. With the lessons of the past, we will certainly win the future,” said DMK President MK Stalin in a statement. “Tens of thousands of people have voted for the secular Progressive Alliance despite the power of the ruling party, the abuse of authority, and the caste consciousness that some parties have deliberately rebelled against,” he added.

According to N Sathiya Moorthy, a Senior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, Chennai Chapter, there will be greater expectations from all segments about delivery from the government, making this short term till May 2021 the yardstick for voting on incumbency issues in the Assembly polls.

S Murari, a journalist and a political analyst, said Stalin’s comments against PMK founder S Ramadoss just before the elections cost the party in Vikravandi as the strong Vanniyar community voted in large numbers for the AIADMK. By not associating with the BJP, the AIADMK gained, he said.

In the neighbouring Puducherry, Congress retained the Kamaraj Nagar Assembly seat.

Published on October 24, 2019

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