AIADMK manages to hold ground in by-polls

T E Raja Simhan | | Updated on: May 23, 2019

Deserted AIADMK headquarters after the election results were announced, in Chennai | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

The ruling AIADMK looks set to win nine Assembly seats in the by-elections, to ensure that it survives the full term of five years. The victory will strengthen the party’s position in the Assembly and is expected to help Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami consolidate his position.

The AIADMK is looking at nine seats while the DMK won 13 in the by-elections held on April 18 and May 19. The victory gives the ruling party a majority of 123 out of 234 seats in the Assembly.

For the DMK, it will be a gain of 12 Assembly seats in addition to its retaining the prestigious Thiruvarur seat, which fell vacant due to the death of party leader M Karunanidhi.

In the by-elections, the DMK may gather a vote share of 44.44 per cent while the AIADMK may get 39.08 per cent, according to Election Commission of India (ECI) data.

In Tamil Nadu, the anti-Modi wave was quite visible in the Lok Sabha polls, but the ruling party bucked the trend in the by-elections by putting up a fight against the DMK, TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, and Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam. However, both Dhinakaran and Kamal Haasan failed to make any major impact in the by-elections.

Out of the 22 vacancies, 18 were due to disqualification of MLAs by the Assembly Speaker in 2017. The remaining four vacancies in Thiruvarur, Sulur, Thirupparankundram, and Hosur were due to death or conviction of the incumbent MLA.

The State is likely to witness another by-election with the Congress’ Nanguneri MLA H Vasanthakumar winning the Kanyakumari Parliamentary seat by defeating BJP’s Pon Radhakrishnan. He is likely to resign his Assembly membership.

DMK’s charge

Earlier in the day, the DMK alleged that reporters with authority letters from the ECI present inside the by-poll counting centres were forcibly removed across the State by the officials in collusion with the AIADMK.

“We have strong reasons to believe that Returning Officers have been instructed by the ruling party to bring a result in favour of ruling party and therefore they are in the process of manipulating the counting procedure. If you fail to intervene forthwith, we will be constrained to move the High Court,” the DMK said

Published on May 23, 2019
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