Five of the six contested board members have been re-elected to the board of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB). The other, however, has been replaced by a new director.

Even as assorted influential Nadar groups were engaged in a bitter battle to enter the boardroom, the Madras High Court-appointed retired Judge, R. Balasubramaniam chaired the 86th (2007-08) and 87th (2008-09) Annual General Body Meetings of the shareholders and conducted the polls for electing news directors. The poll results were announced on Thursday.

Among those elected are the three sitting directors – V.V.D.N. Vikraman, S.R. Arvind Kumar and S.C. Sekar. Besides them, Thirukumar Vethanayagam and P. Mahendravel were elected. All the five were backed by the parent body, Nadar Mahajana Sangam, which founded the bank in 1921. Influential business groups such as Pioneer Asia, Sivanthi Adityan of Daily Thanthi, VVD and Tuticorin Ayyanar coffee house had also reportedly backed the election of these directors.

Sources said that the foreign investors (non-Nadars), holding 24.93 per cent shares in the thin Rs. 28.45 lakh equity capital of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank, had cast their lot behind these candidates and largely influenced the election of directors at the two AGMs held at Tuticorin on Wednesday.

The poll results, sources said, had also come as a setback to the group led by B. Ramachandran Adityan, as all the candidates it had fielded, including Kannan Adityan and P.H. Arvind Pandian, were defeated in the elections. S. Sundar got elected, securing highest votes amongst the candidates. He won against S. Ganapathy, who retired by rotation, but could not get re-elected.

Ramachandra Adityan, Chairman of Nadar Mahajana Bank Share Investors forum, fought for the retrieval of the bank from Essar group and later from Sterling group. He was instrumental in the FIIs picking up a substantial stake from Sterling group. Ironically, he turned against the foreign investors and opposed their entry into the board.