Lok Sabha Election

AIADMK govt. survives, poised to win nine seats

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. File

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. File

The Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu, which was surviving on a wafer-thin majority, appeared set to retain power with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) managing to secure leads in 9 of the 22 Assembly seats for which by-polls were held.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the principal Opposition party having 88 MLAs was surging ahead in 13 constituencies.

With the success in the by-elections, the strength of the DMK will rise to 101, while the AIADMK’s tally will be 123, six past the half-way mark. Totally, the House has 234 members. DMK ally Congress has eight members and another ally, the IUML one. TTV Dhinakaran is the lone Independent MLA.

Contrary to expectations in certain quarters, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), led by T.T.V. Dhinakaran, suffered a drubbing. Only in Ottapidaram, the AMMK’s candidate R. Sundararaj was able to retain deposit. While the Speaker had issued show cause notices (stayed by Supreme Court) to three dissident AIADMK MLAs, on charges of backing the AMMK, it remains to be seen if these legislators would switch loyalties.

Among prominent winners in the by-elections were V. Senthil Balaji, former Minister and till recently a member of the Dhinakaran camp, who got elected in Aravakurichi; A. Krishnaswamy, former Sriperumpudur’s Member of Parliament and who now won from Poonamallee, both belonging to the DMK.

The by-polls in 18 seats were necessitated by the disqualification of dissident AIADMK MLAs who had backed Mr. Dhinakaran. As for the other four seats, the death of M. Karunanidhi, R. Kangaraj and A.K. Bose paved the way for the by-elections in Tiruvarur, Sulur and Thiruparankundram while the disqualification of former Minister P. Balakrishna Reddy in a case necessitated the by-poll in Hosur.

At the overall level, DMK, the principal Opposition party, has also established a margin of difference of around 6.3 percentage points over the ruling party by obtaining around 44.5% votes in the 22 seats, according to the situation at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

Constituency watch

As regards specific constituencies, the DMK bagged Tirupparankundram, Ottapidaram, Poonamallee, Hosur, Thanjavur, Perambur, Thiruporur, Gudiyatham, Ambur, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Andipatti, Periyakulam, and Aravakurichi.

The ruling party has overtaken the DMK in Sholinghur, Pappireddipatti, Harur, Nilakottai, Manamadurai, Sattur, Vilathikulam, Sulur and Paramakudi.

A senior leader of the ruling party argued that the AIADMK’s performance in the Assembly by-elections was a reflection of the approval of the people for continuance of the State government. This was in stark contrast to what his organisation had fared in the Lok Sabha polls.

R.S. Bharathi, organising secretary of the DMK, said greater analysis of the results had to be done, as the party had expected to win in all the seats.

P. Ramajayam, assistant professor at the Bharatidasan University, said that in contrast to the approach of the DMK which had paid more attention to the Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK had given greater importance to the Assembly by-polls.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 7:05:35 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/with-leads-in-nine-seats-aiadmk-government-may-continue/article27222762.ece