This is the third by-poll victory for the party after it came to power in 2011

The resounding victory of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with a big margin of 71,498 votes in the by-election to the Pudukottai Assembly constituency was on expected lines.

While AIADMK candidate Karthik Thondaiman polled 1,01,998 votes, DMDK candidate N. Jahir Hussain, got 30,500 votes. Eighteen other candidates, including 15 independents, were in the fray.

Several factors enabled the ruling party to register yet another convincing win in a by-election. Firstly, all 32 State Ministers campaigned for days together and the Chief Minister and party leader Jayalalithaa pitched in for a day. Further, the major opposition party, the DMK, was not in the fray. Locals add that Mr. Thondaman, who belongs to the Pudukottai royal family, the erstwhile Pudukottai Samasthanam, still commands respect among them.

This is the third by-election witnessed by the State after the AIADMK returned to power in the May 2011 Assembly election, and the ruling party has emerged victorious in all of them.

The party had won the Tiruchi West and Sankarankoil by-polls earlier.

The Pudukottai by-election, caused by the tragic demise of CPI MLA S. P. Muthukumaran in a road accident, evoked some interest as the AIADMK combine could score only a narrow 3,101 votes win over the DMK-led alliance in the last Assembly election.

The CPI expected the AIADMK to allot the seat to it, but the ruling party decided to field its own candidate.

The other opposition parties, including the DMK, expected the CPI to take the initiative and field its candidate and seek support from them.

But the party accepted the AIADMK's decision, much to the disappointment of the opposition bloc.

Even then, political observers expected the DMK to field its candidate, as the party had polled 62,365 votes in the Assembly elections, with the support of the Congress.

However, the DMK too did not enter the fray.

The DMDK, the main opposition in the Assembly, decided to field its candidate, even though it has no real base here. Even in the last Assembly election, the DMDK was not allotted any of the six constituencies in the AIADMK alliance in the district.

It managed to get only the support of the CPI (M).DMDK functionaries were unfazed in defeat.

“We put up a brave fight, despite not being in a position to match the AIADMK on many fronts from very beginning.

The ruling party utilised every weapon available to belittle the democratic exercise. Complaints against the ruling party to the Election Commission went unheeded,” said S. K. Kadiravan, treasurer of the district unit of the DMDK.

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