Lok Sabha Election

In Tamil Nadu, voters make a distinction at the booth

Counting of votes in progress for the Aravakuruchi byelection at a counting centre in Karur in Tamil Nadu.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

A perceptible pattern of differentiated voting marked the recent Assembly byelection and Lok Sabha polls in the State.

The trend was prevalent both in the case of the DMK and the AIADMK. It was more visible in respect of the latter.

Along with 38 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls on April 18, 18 Assembly seats had bypolls. A month later, four more Assembly seats — Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram (Reserved) and Tirupparankundram – had byelections. The DMK and its allies romped home in 37 out of the 38 Lok Sabha seats, with just the Theni seat going to the AIADMK. In respect of the byelections to 22 Assembly constituencies, the DMK secured 13 and the AIADMK nine.

Of the 22 Assembly constituencies, two – Gudiyatham and Ambur – fall part of the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, where the poll process was cancelled on charges of attempting to bribe the voters.

In Tamil Nadu, voters make a distinction at the booth

Changing preferences

A comparative study of votes polled by the two parties in the remaining 20 Assembly constituencies, which come under the 16 Lok Sabha seats, shows that the ruling party, in 14 Assembly constituencies, netted more votes than what it or its allies secured in those Assembly segments in the respective Lok Sabha constituencies.

For example, Tiruporur, which is part of the Kancheepuram parliamentary seat, saw the AIADMK securing 82,535 votes in the byelection. But in the Lok Sabha election, in the same Assembly segment, the ruling party’s tally was 76,540 votes. This proves that many voters had made different choices while pressing the buttons of the EVMs for the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, which were placed side by side.

Likewise, Manamadurai, which comes under the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency, witnessed a significant difference. For the Lok Sabha, the BJP, an ally of the AIADMK, got 60,059 votes while the AIADMK obtained 85,228 votes from the same place in the Assembly byelection.

The Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency saw a similar trend. Former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), who had sought re-election to the Lok Sabha, could get 65,072 votes and 94,029 votes from Harur and Pappireddipatti, both of which came under Dharmapuri.

During the byelections, the ruling party’s nominees emerged victoriously from both places by garnering 88,632 votes and 1,03,981 votes respectively.

One explanation for such a variation in many places is that the AIADMK was not able to transfer all its votes to its allies for the Lok Sabha even as it got what it could from the partners.

As for the DMK, such a trend was noticed only in six constituencies. Periyakulam and Andipatti, falling part of the Theni Lok Sabha seat, are among them. In these two places, the DMK got more during the byelection than what its ally, the Congress, could receive for the Lok Sabha. Needless to say, the principal Opposition party snatched the two Assembly seats from the ruling party whereas the latter defeated the Congress in the contest for the Lok Sabha.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 7:00:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/voters-make-a-distinction-at-the-booth/article27268125.ece

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