The ruling AIADMK got a morale boost by winning both the by-polls in Vikravandi and Nanguneri held on October 21. With this, the AIADMK's strength in the Assembly will increase to 125, to get a simple majority in the 234-member House.
In Vikravandi, the AIADMK’s MR Muthamizhselvan polled 1,13,766 votes (with 60.29 per cent vote share) to beat DMK candidate N Pugazhenthi, who got 68,842 votes (36.48 per cent) by a margin of 44,924 votes.
In Nanguneri, the ruling party’s Reddiarpatti V Narayanan polled 95,377 votes (with 55.88 per cent vote share) to beat Congress' candidate R Manoharan, who polled 61,932 votes (vote share of 36.29 per cent) by a margin of 33,445 votes, says information in the Election Commission of India website.
Incidentally, the AIADMK lost both the seats to the DMK and Congress in 2016. The bypolls were necessitated following the death of DMK’s Vikravandi MLA K Rathamani and the resignation of Nanguneri Congress MLA H Vasanthakumar, who quit after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari district.
Boost to AIADMK
The results will not drastically alter the political arithmetic in Tamil Nadu. A win for the AIADMK, which has a majority in the Assembly with 123 members out of the 234 seats, will increase its tally by another two seats.
However, with just 18 months left for the 2021 Assembly elections, a win in both these elections will help boost the morale of the ruling party in the upcoming state assembly elections. The AIADMK faced one of its worst defeats in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, in which it won just one seat.
The bypolls saw fierce competition between the ruling AIADMK and DMK. Other parties, including Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam and TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, have refrained from contesting. Both did not contest the Vellore Lok Sabha elections
"People have voted for truth in the two by-electons," Edapaddi K Palaniswami, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and coordinator of AIADMK, told newspersons at the party headquarters. "This pre-poll election alliance will continue in future," he added. The BJP; PMK and the DMDK supported the AIADMK in the by-poll.
O Paneerselvam, AIADMK coordinator and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister told reporters ruled out the question of VK Sasikala, a close aide of J Jayalalithaa, being accommodated in the party after she is released from jail in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.
At the AIADMK party headquarter in Alwarpet, there was jubilation from around 9 am as party workers assembly in large numbers and burst crackers, and distributed sweets on the early trends of the by-polls.
At the neighbouring Puducherry, Congress retained the Kamaraj Nagar Assembly seat.