Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday described his party's victory in Pennagaram Assembly by-election as a victory for the people.

In a statement, he hailed the victory saying “People's verdict is God's verdict.”

The Chief Minister thanked Ministers, DMK district secretaries, party workers and alliance parties such as the Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal for their contribution to the victory.

The party will continue to strive for people's welfare, ignoring criticism, he said.

Artificial victory, says Jayalalithaa

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said it was an artificial victory, obtained through means of money and muscle power and misuse of government machinery. “It's a defeat for democracy.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa said Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin's remark that the DMK would win by a margin of 40,000 votes and Mr. Karunanidhi's words that the AIADMK would be pushed to the third place had clearly proved that there was a conspiracy against the AIADMK.

She also criticised the PMK, which secured the second position.

“The PMK adopted the methods of the DMK and spent enormous amounts of money, unprecedented in the elections.”

Accusing the Election Commission of turning a blind eye towards irregularities of the ruling party, she said the attitude of the Commission had put a question mark over the future of Indian democracy.

PMK leader S. Ramadoss described the outcome as a moral victory for the party, arguing that his party was able to secure around 41,000 votes despite the fact it had faced the elections without any ally.

The voters of Pennagaram had proved wrong the predictions that the PMK had lost its sheen in Tamil Nadu's politics.

“PMK a force”

“The result shows that the PMK is a force to reckon with,” he said and urged the Election Commission to explore ways, along with political parties, to prevent efforts to convert elections into a money-making business.

“Unless the Election Commission is vested with the powers to cancel an election when it feels votes are being bought, we cannot prevent the role of money in elections. Make adequate amendments to achieve the goal,” he said.