P.V.V. Murthy

VELLORE: Results in the four Lok Sabha constituencies of Vellore, Arakkonam, Tiruvannamalai and Arani in Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, which have gone to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) have shown that the people voted for the continuation of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule in the country.

The massive victory of the DMK candidate, S. Jegathrakshakan, in Arakkonam, defeating Pattali Makkal Katchi candidate and former Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu is seen not only as a vote for the DMK rule in Tamil Nadu but also a rejection of the PMK’s alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

There was a view among people in the Vanniyar-dominated Arakkonam constituency that the PMK’s decision to walk out of the DPA amounted to betraying the DMK. Though both the main candidates belong to Vanniyar community, people’s gravitation towards Mr. Jegathrakshakan is seen as a lesson they have taught to the PMK’s habit of switching alliances.

Pre-poll surveys pointed at an edge for Mr. Velu in view of his track record as Union Minister and the number of train stoppages he had introduced in his constituency. But the results have clearly shown that other factors have swayed the voters.

The victory of M. Adbul Raghman of the Indian Union Muslim League, an ally of the DMK in Vellore constituency, by a convincing margin of more than one lakh votes, reflects the preference of people of the constituency. The region, which has sizable minority population, seems to prefer the secular Congress-led UPA. Though there was palpable anger among a section of voters about frequent power cuts and increase in the prices of essential commodities, the people’s preference for a stable and secular government seems to have overcome the negative aspects of the DMK rule.