Party routed in all 10 constituencies in Madurai city and district, considered to be Alagiri's stronghold
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam tasted defeat in southern districts with many of its prominent faces, including Assembly Speaker R. Avudaiyappan and many Ministers in the outgoing Karunanidhi Cabinet and district secretaries losing the elections.
Prominent among those who lost were N. Suresh Rajan in Kanyakumari; V. Karuppasamy Pandian in Tenkasi of Tirunelveli district; P. Geetha Jeevan in Tuticorin; K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran in Aruppukottai of Virudhunagar district; P. Moorthy in Madurai East and K. Thalapathi (district secretaries) in Madurai West; S.S. Ghouse Batcha, sitting MLA, in Madurai Central and L. Mookiah, a strong man in Andipatti of Theni district.
Except I. Periasamy (Athoor of Dindigul); Suba Thangavelan from Tiruvadanai of Ramanathapuram district; T.P.M. Mohideen Khan (Palayamkottai); and Thangam Thennarasu from Tiruchuli in Virudhunagar district, all other DMK leaders tasted defeat in the southern districts. Except Madurai, in all other districts in the south zone the DMK retained at least one or two seats.
Incidentally, the DMK was routed in Madurai city and district, comprising 10 Assembly constituencies, which is considered a fortress of the party's strong man and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, who is the south zone organising secretary as well.
It was jubilation time in the temple city with the AIADMK and its allies emerging victorious in a convincing manner in all the 10 Assembly constituencies in Madurai district while arch rival DMK drew a blank.
The counting of votes for Melur, Sholavandan, Madurai South, Madurai West, Madurai North, Madurai Central and Madurai East constituencies was carried out at the Madurai Medical College, while the votes from Usilampatti constituency was counted at Vellaichamy Nadar College and that of Tirumangalam and Tiruparankundram at the Government Polytechnic College here on Friday.
At the Medical College counting centre, except for Madurai East DMK candidate P. Moorthy, who was leading till third round, all the candidates of the AIADMK and its allies were sitting pretty since the beginning of the first round itself.
According to AIADMK counting agents, their candidates, led by ‘Sellur' K. Raju (Madurai West), A.K. Bose (Madurai North), R. Samy (Melur), M.V. Karuppiah (Sholavandan Reserved) and R. Annadurai (CPI M) and R. Sundarrajan (DMDK) maintained early leads and did not look back in successive rounds.
As for the DMK front candidates, there was no appreciable improvement in their fortunes. But for one or two rounds when a few candidates seemed to recuperate, they posed no threat to their rivals till the last round. In many constituencies, the total number of rounds ranged between 15 and 17, officials said.
For instance, K.S.K. Rajendran of the Congress from Madurai North constituency trailed behind his opponent A.K. Bose of the AIADMK by at least 3,000 to 5,000 votes from the initial rounds. Mr. Bose established a comfortable margin. The fate of another Congress candidate, S.P. Varadarajan from Madurai South, was similar. He polled 37,875 votes against 83,385 votes polled by his rival CPI (M) candidate Mr. Annadurai.
In the rural pockets too, Pattali Makkal Katchi candidate M. Illanselian, an ally of the DMK, polled 49,631 votes against the AIADMK candidate M.V. Karuppaiah, who polled 86,322 votes, thus winning comfortably by a margin of over 36,000 votes.
In Melur, Mr. Samy roped in home successfully against his DMK rival Rani Rajamanickam.
The leads established by the AIADMK-led front candidates was so huge that victory looked certain for all ten candidates of the alliance.
By routing the DMK from Madurai, the AIADMK has once again regained its vote bank and confidence of the people, said AIADMK Madurai urban district secretary ‘Sellur' K. Raju.
The people's overwhelming support to the AIADMK front in Madurai reflected their anger against the atrocities of the DMK men.
The Alagiri supporters had been shown the door in a fitting manner, he told The Hindu.
Though Mr. Alagiri was not available for comment to reporters, a close confidant of the Minister and DMK functionary, wishing anonymity, said that they accepted the people's verdict.
Keywords: TN Assembly election results