Records facile wins in bypoll; VCK chief locked in a close fight in Chidambaram
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), along with it allies, reasserted its supremacy in central Tamil Nadu and recouped much of the ground that it had lost in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The party-led front that had suffered a crushing defeat in the region in 2014 when it lost all the seven constituencies, has now seen a reversal of its fortunes.
A strong anti-Modi sentiment decimated the AIADMK front in the region as candidates of the DMK alliance registered big wins in Tiruchi and Perambalur and were headed for similar victories in four other seats, given the lead positions.
In Chidambaram, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and his AIADMK rival P. Chandrasekar were locked in a see-saw fight through the day.
However, at 9 p.m, after 18 of 23 rounds were counted, the VCK chief led by over 19,000 votes (as per the ECI website).
Farmers’ discontent over the hydrocarbon exploration project and poor rehabilitation measures after Cyclone Gaja appeared to have played a decisive role in the region.
Former Union Minister S.S. Palanimanickam, won the Thanjavur Lok Sabha constituency by a handsome margin of over three lakh votes, said many recent actions of the State and Union governments were against the interests of the Cauvery delta farmers and election outcome in the region was a reflection of this.
In Karur, S. Jothimani of the Congress was set to emerge a giant killer thwarting Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK propaganda secretary M. Thambi Durai’s attempt to win a fifth term.
Contesting from Tiruchi, former TNCC president and veteran politician Su. Thirunavukkarasar added one more victory to his already impressive record.
The six-time MLA and former MP from Pudukottai swept rivals aside by a margin of over 4.50 lakh votes, while V. Elangovan, DMDK’s presidium chairman, could not shed his image as a “weak outsider.’
The AMMK’s Sarubala R. Tondaiman, who was expected to mount a strong challenge, failed to make any impact.
The AMMK failed to cause any major split in votes as was expected in the delta region, from where its leaders V.K. Sasikala and T.T.V. Dhinakaran hail.
IJK founder T.R. Paarivendhar, contesting on the DMK symbol, too walked away with a huge victory in Perambalur by a margin of over four lakh votes over former Minister N.R. Sivapathy of the AIADMK. Both Mr. Thirunavukkarasar and Mr. Paarivendhar won by over four lakh votes each.
Another seasoned campaigner and four-time former MLA S. Ramalingam of the DMK secured a rather easy win over his AIADMK rival in Mayiladuthurai.
With a reasonable support base at the field level for the Left, the Communist Party of India’s M. Selvaraj was heading for a comfortable win in Nagapattinam.
The DMK won byelection to all three Assembly seats in the region.
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