In the just concluded counting process in Cuddalore, the sitting MP K.S. Alagiri of Congress could manage to garner only 26,650 votes, thus forfeiting his deposit.
A. Arunmozhithevan of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam made a facile win in the Cuddalore parliamentary constituency by securing 4,81,429 votes.
He trounced the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate Dr K. Nandagopalakrishnan (who polled 2,78,304 votes) by a margin of 2,03,125 votes.
C.R. Jayasankar of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam obtained 1,47,606 votes and K. Balasubramanian of the Communist Party of India got just 11,122 votes.
Of the total number of 9,84,538 votes polled 589 were rejected. By winning with a comfortable margin the AIADMK has stormed into what is earlier projected as the DMK bastion and has firmly entrenched itself in the seat.
The campaign mode of the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was well received by the electorate in the constituency. The plethora of welfare measures implemented by the State government had made the electorate to plump for the ruling party candidate.
It is to be noted that more than the individual merit of the candidate it is the distribution of welfare measures by the ruling party that has earned it the credit through ballots.
The decisiveness of the party leadership in going it alone in the Lok Sabha elections had instilled a sense of clarity among the voters about the choice of the candidate to whom they should vote. The voters seemed to have made up their minds on this score as the other political parties such as the DMDK and the PMK, though formed part of the National Democratic Alliance, were not only vacillating on alliance but were also at loggerheads with each after joining hands.
As far as the Left parties were concerned, they took a blind leap by choosing to go it alone in the elections. By doing so the Left parties had confounded not only their cadre but also the electorate about their poll strategy.
Indeed, the Left parties assiduously tried to drive home the point that they had the alternative policies to prop up the economy. But given the arithmetic of the cadre strength these parties only succeeded in creating an impression that in the post-poll scenario they would change tack and might align with the winning combine.
It created a credibility gap in which the voters’ support fell through. For the Congress that chose to go it alone in the poll it proved to be not only a disgraceful but also a disastrous experiment.
The winning candidate has the onus of working towards improving the lot of the people in the constituency and to help it shed the tag of a “backward constituency.”