TN elections: DMK rides anti-incumbent, controversial AIADMK leaders win
On Sunday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) seized power in Tamil Nadu a decade later. In the absence of charismatic leadership, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) also managed to survive a massive test. The AIADMK’s 66-seat total was the highest in terms of loss.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly elections saw ten ministers bite the dust. However, those with massive corruption allegations against their names won comfortably.
The two main Dravidian parties continued to dominate in the polls while three other fronts – Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by TTV Dhinakaran, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) by actor Kamal Haasan and the Tamil nationalist party Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) – left empty-handed.
While Congress surprised by winning 18 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returned to the Assembly after two decades. The left-wing parties have a lot to look into as both managed to win two seats each out of a total of 12 they contested.
DMK STRENGTHENS THE STRENGTHS
The DMK has succeeded in reigning supreme in its traditional strongholds. The party won a practical number of seats in Chennai and its surrounding districts while improving its tally in the southern and delta regions.
It was almost a sweep for the DMK and its allies in the northern districts. Of the 78 seats in the north, the Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) won 64 seats, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) retained only 14 seats. Several ministers in the region lost their electoral battle to the DMK candidates.
the the delta region came in handy for the DMK, the party and its allies obtaining 37 of the 41 seats, leaving a paltry four seats to the AIADMK and the NDA. The sustained struggle against the three Agricultural laws and the strength of the left parties helped achieve a huge victory in the region. the agricultural loan exemptions and repeated AIADMK requests that the laws were stacked in favor of the farmers had few takers in the area.
the AIADMK has always had strong support constituencies in the south, but this election proved the opposite: the SPA won 39 of the 58 seats, an increase from the 26 seats in the previous elections. The NDA had to face 19, down from the AIADMK’s total of 32 in the 2016 elections. The BJP won 2 seats in the southern districts.
THE WEST STAYS WITH AIADMK
The saving face of AIADMK has been the western region, which once again voted overwhelmingly in favor of the party despite multiple allegations and controversies. AIADMK and its allies won 40 of 57 seats, five less than their 2016 total. The districts of Coimbatore, Salem and Erode alone accounted for 30 seats for the NDA.
The alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has also helped the AIADMK to retain its base. The BJP also won two seats here, namely Modakurichi and South Coimbatore.
the Minister of Local Administration SP Velumani and Minister of Electricity P. Thangamani won the region, despite massive corruption charges against the duo. Anti-corruption organization Arappor Iyakkam revealed scam behind calls for tenders in the highways department which was managed by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami himself.
Outgoing assembly vice chairman Pollachi V Jayaraman also won comfortably, despite allegations of his son’s involvement in the Pollachi Sexual Abuse Case.
CONGRESS SURPRISES; BJP BACK IN ASSEMBLY
Congress, struck off as a underperforming in the two previous parliamentary elections, saved face by winning 18 of the 25 seats she contested. The party faced the BJP with five seats and won four of them.
The party also won the farewell election to Kanyakumari Lok Sabha’s seat with its candidate Vijay Vasanth beating former union minister Pon Radhakrishnan by more than 1.37 lakh.
The BJP returned to the assembly after a two-decade hiatus. The party contested in 20 constituencies and managed to win four. The BJP had a similar number of MPs in 2001, then winning alongside the DMK-led alliance.
Vanathi Srinivasan, BJP President Mahila Morcha, won from South Coimbatore, while veteran leader MR Gandhi won from Nagercoil. Former AIADMK Minister Nainar Nagendran won from Tirunelveli and CR Saraswathi defeated former DMK Minister Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan in Modakurichi.
Star BJP candidates including state president Dr L. Murugan, former national secretary H. Raja, former IPS officer K. Annamalai and actress Kushboo Sundar have lost their electoral battles.
The four-seat victory boosted party morale with another ally, the PMK, also returning to the assembly with five members.
‘LEFT PARTS UNDER PERFORMANCE ‘
The two left-wing parties – the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) – contested twelve seats in all and won only two each. The parties hoped to win at least 4 seats each, but the results rocked their camps.
CPI (M) was confident of winning the constituency of Dindigul against incumbent MP and former minister Dindugal Sreenivasan, but lost by a huge margin. The party also lost Thiruparankundram, where its lone candidate lost to former MP and former Madurai mayor VV Rajan Chellappa.
The IPC had its hopes of conquering the constituencies of Valparai and Tiruppur Nord, but had to face Thalli and Thiruthuraipoondi.
The parties, although devoting their time to waging struggles highlighting the plight of ordinary people, have suffered a setback, despite a strong alliance behind them as well. The monetary power of AIADMK could have contributed to the losses, but the failure of parties to convert their mass base into votes has always been a problem.
The MNM, apart from its leader Kamal Haasan, had little impact and won 2.5% of the state’s vote. The AMMK thwarted the AIADMK’s prospects by a few seats and only managed 2.3% of the vote. The NTK managed to win a considerable share of the vote in rural constituencies, increasing its share of the vote to 6.6% in the polls.