All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate S.M. Velusamy won the Coimbatore mayoral contest. His victory makes him the third directly-elected head of the Corporation Council.
Mr. Velusamy, a former Minister in the AIADMK cabinet between 2001 and 2006, defeated his nearest rival N. Karthik of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
He becomes the fourth Mayor of Coimbatore after V. Gopalakrishnan, T. Malaravan and R. Venkatachalam. Of the four, only Mr. Venkatachalam was elected by the Council, and not directly by the voters.
Mr. Velusamy's victory margin shifted gears as rounds progressed and remained on top gear for most part of the counting process. He polled over 2.53 lakh votes. His nearest rival Mr. Karthik polled 1.39 lakh votes.
Nearly 6.20 lakh of the 10.45 lakh voters had exercised their franchise on Monday last.
Mr. Velusamy has the support of 78 of his party workers in the 100-member Council.
The third place in the Mayor's race went to Independent Ameer Althaf, who secured over 34,000 votes. He polled more than Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's A. Arjunaraj (over 23,000 votes), Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s U.K. Sivagnanam (over 29,000 votes) and Bharatiya Janata Party's G.K.S. Selvakumar (over 24,000 votes).
All the aforementioned candidates stand to lose their deposits as they polled fewer than one-sixth of the total votes polled.
Mr. Velusamy told The Hindu that the result was on the expected lines – both for the Mayor's and councillors'
It also showed the AIADMK's strength. “The local body results amply demonstrate that the victory DMDK, CPM, CPI and other parties secured in the last Assembly elections was on account of the AIADMK's strength. And minus the AIADMK, they stood exposed.”
He said his priority would be to improve the water supply and road condition in the city. He would also focus on developing the added areas.