While DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and DMDK leader Vijayakant sought to downplay the outcome of the Sankarankovil by-election, saying there was nothing great in a ruling party winning a by-election, MDMK general secretary Vaiko described it as a “temporary victory for money power.”
In a statement here Mr Karunanidhi said there was no need for his party to regret the defeat when considering the fact that the AIADMK was not able to retain its deposit in the Pennagaram by-election held in 2010.
“There are adequate instances to prove that the ruling party alone win by-elections. The DMK won all the by-elections held between 2006 and 2011 when it was in power,” Mr Karunanidhi said.
The DMK leader said since Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had posed a challenge to DMDK leader Vijayakant to win the by-election, the entire cabinet camped in the constituency and “splurged money” to ensure that the ruling party secured a massive victory.
He pointed out that the DMK's votes in the 2011 Assembly elections had come down from 61,902 to 26,212, while the AIADMK had been able to increase its vote share from 72,297 to 94,977. The AIADMK could secure 22,680 votes, though the DMK had lost over 35,000 votes in the by-election.
Mr. Vijayakant said in the fight between money and hard work, former had prevailed over the latter.
“Even before the election date was announced the ruling party implemented welfare schemes in the constituency. Thirty two ministers camped in the constituency and were liberal in their promises to the people. No by-election witnessed such a misuse of official machinery,” he said.
Echoing the view, Mr Vaiko said the money distributed by the ruling party was on the conscience of the voters to offer their support in its favour. “Even the DMK tried to match the ruling party by distributing money. Still, every vote secured by the MDMK is invaluable,” he added.