Tamil Nadu 2016

AIADMK proves Madurai is its stronghold

AIADMK cadres celebrating the victory of the party in Assembly elections in Madurai on Thursday.— Photo: R. Ashok  

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) established once again in no uncertain terms that Madurai district is its bastion by winning eight of the 10 constituencies with an overall vote share of 45.84 per cent.

Only Madurai Central and Madurai East constituencies escaped the AIADMK wave in the district, which resulted in the party securing more than 50 per cent votes in three constituencies – Melur, Sholavandan and Usilampatti. Even in the remaining five constituencies that the party won, its candidates won by a comfortable margin.

Barring the candidates of the AIADMK, DMK and the Congress, which contested in two constituencies in alliance with the DMK, the remaining 162 candidates in the 10 constituencies lost their deposit. The DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance together secured a vote share of 7.52 per cent in the district.

AIADMK, which contested in all the 10 constituencies for the first time, increased its number of MLAs in the district by one compared to the 2011 election in which it had seven MLAs.

Minister for Cooperation in the incumbent government ‘Sellur’ K. Raju, the only sitting MLA from the AIADMK in Madurai district to get a chance to contest again, retained his Madurai West constituency by securing 44.81 per cent of the votes, despite a perceived anti-incumbency factor in the constituency.

Similarly, R.B. Udhaya Kumar, another Minister, who was shifted from Sattur in Virudhunagar district to Tirumangalam, won by securing 46.99 per cent of votes.

Former Mayor of Madurai Corporation V.V. Rajan Chellappa won from Madurai North by securing 45.64 per cent of votes. Almost all the winning AIADMK candidates gained and maintained a lead from the very first round as the counting started on Thursday morning.

While the initial rounds of the counting in Madurai Central gave an impression that it was going to be a close fight between the DMK and the AIADMK, DMK’s P.T.R.P. Thiagarajan won in the end by a margin 5,762 votes, which is the lowest winning margin for a candidate in the district. By winning Madurai Central constituency, the DMK also broke the myth that the party that wins the constituency will form the government.

The counting process went on smoothly, barring minor hiccups.

The Electronic Voting Machine used in Poosalapuram polling booth in Tirumangalam constituency developed a fault with its display when taken out for counting.

However, the issue was sorted out with the help of engineers by taking a printout of the polled votes instead of using the display, officials said.

The certificates to the winning candidates were issued by the Returning Officers of the constituencies in the presence of Collector and District Election Officer K. Veera Raghava Rao. As S.M. Seenivel of AIADMK, who won from Tirupparankundram, could not come as he was hospitalised, his agent received the certificate on his behalf.

Elaborate security arrangements were made by Madurai City police on both Madurai Medical College and The American College campuses where the counting took place.

Jubilation

Soon after the news of the comfortable lead maintained by AIADMK candidates in most constituencies broke out, party cadres broke into celebration across the district by bursting crackers and performing milk abhishekam to the portrait of party supremo Jayalalithaa.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:33:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamilnadu2016/aiadmk-proves-madurai-is-its-stronghold/article8623526.ece

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