The party held central Chennai in its vice grip
2014 is going to be a milestone that political analysts in the country are going to be invoking repeatedly.
It was on Friday that, for the first time in the history of Parliamentary elections in Chennai, the AIADMK swept all the three city constituencies.
DMK has long considered Chennai it’s own. With good reason, of course. In central Chennai, barring three elections — in 1977, 1989 and 1991 — DMK has held the constituency in its vice grip.
From 1996, it has in fact stayed within the Maran family, with the senior, Murasoli Maran sweeping the seat three times, and his son Dayanidhi Maran taking it twice.
On Friday, when the initial results showed Mr. Maran trailing, there was an element of surprise, as he was popularly expected to win the seat. Only, the people thought otherwise. His rival, a lesser-known AIADMK member, S.R. Vijaya Kumar, won on Friday, with an impressive margin (over 45,000 votes) for a rank newcomer.
The scene at Chennai North constituency has been no different. From 1967 onwards — barring a brief interlude in 1989 and 1991 — DMK has held on tenuously to the constituency where the labour movement is possibly the strongest in the city.
Most of their leaders, including N.V.N. Somu and C. Kuppusami, have been strongmen in DMK’s trade union. This time, perhaps for the first time, a businessman-politician has usurped the north Chennai seat. T.G. Venkatesh Babu of AIADMK started his political career in the Chennai Corporation.
North Chennai’s previous winner, T.K.S. Elangovan, was assigned the Chennai South constituency this time. He was declared runner-up on Friday.
Chennai South has returned DMK’s T.R. Baalu four times to the Parliament, from 1996. Prior to that, the seat went to prominent Congress politicians, including former President R. Venkataraman, and Vyjayanthimala Bali.
After 1991, when R. Sridharan of AIADMK won the South Madras (as it was known then) seat, the party has wrested it once more. This year, a young J. Jayavardhan, son of former Tamil Nadu speaker and AIADMK loyalist D. Jayakumar, made it to the winners’ list.
The AIADMK wave that swept nearly the entire State, barring the two that went to the NDA, wreaked havoc on the other parties, even in the constituencies abutting Chennai — Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Sriperumbudur.
To use another nation’s imagery, the colours of the season usually change during fall. In Chennai, completely out of season, they changed on Friday — to a bright, leafy green.