Dindigul Assembly segment is known as ‘Red Fort’ among Marxists as it has a loyal base of workers

Two national parties — Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Congress— have faced their worst defeat ever in Dindigul constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

While the vote share of CPI(M) was just 1.79 per cent , the Congress garnered only 3.28 per cent. Candidates of both the parties had lost their deposits.

Dindigul Assembly segment is known as ‘Red Fort’ among Marxists as it has a loyal base of workers. It has produced several communist stalwarts, especially its State secretary N. Varadarajan, and S.A. Thangarajan. The CPI(M) used to get 18 to 45.2 per cent of the votes. The party won the Dindigul Assembly segment in 1977, 1980, 1989, regained it in 2001 and retained it in 2006 and 2011. MLA K. Balabarathi had made a hat-trick in Dindigul by getting a vote share of more than 47 per cent in all the three Assembly elections.

Hence, it is surprising that CPI(M) veteran leader and district secretary N. Pandi could garner a mere 4,037 votes in the Dindigul Assembly segment in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the 1996 polls, the party’s share was 7.07 per cent, despite having contested alone.

Palani, where the party fought for the cause of Dalits, was the only segment that gave it 5,265 votes, highest in all the Assembly segments, the lowest being 1,920 votes in Nilakottai. The party gained 2,655 votes in Oddanchatram, 2,779 in Athoor and 2,765 in Natham segments.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress seem to have split the non-Hindu votes, leaving CPI (M) very little.

The irony is that both the left parties — CPI (M) and CPI — had joined hands for this election.

The only solace in this election is that the CPI(M) got more postal votes than the Congress.

Result of inaction

The Congress has paid a heavy price for its political inaction in Dindigul, as evident elsewhere, and has been pushed to the fourth place. Sitting MP N.S.V. Chitthan has faced the worst defeat of his political career by getting an all-time low of 35,632 votes. In Natham, he got 10,517 votes, the highest among the Assembly segments, and the lowest at Athoor with 4,037 votes. With the support of DMK, he could poll 81,550 votes in the 2009 elections.

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