A historic win, says Jayalalithaa

A six-cornered contest literally came to naught in terms of seats won.

May 20, 2016 02:17 am | Updated September 12, 2016 07:28 pm IST - CHENNAI:

AIADMK workers celebrate the party’s victory in Coimbatore on Thursday. Photo: M.Periasamy

AIADMK workers celebrate the party’s victory in Coimbatore on Thursday. Photo: M.Periasamy

The people of Tamil Nadu armed the ruling AIADMK with a total of 134 seats, but also gave the DMK-led combine 98 seats to make it historically the largest opposition elected to the Assembly.

“My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu for giving us this historic victory,” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said, soon after her electoral triumph.

“I have no other interest in life except working for people of Tamil Nadu,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said. “My life is dedicated to the people of Tamil Nadu and I will continue to strive for the betterment of the people and the State till my last breath,” she added, making sure to assure the people that her electoral promises would all be fulfilled.

Among the first few congratulatory messages came from Prime Minster Narendra Modi. He later tweeted that he had spoken to her on the telephone and congratulated her, as well as passed on best wishes to her.

Senior IAS and IPS officials, AIADMK MPs and cadre greeted Ms. Jayalalithaa at her residence.

On Friday, she will garland the statues of Periyar, Anna and MGR and participate in a meeting of all the elected party MLAs in the evening.

Comes to naught

A six-cornered contest literally came to naught in terms of seats won. Ultimately, the verdict was split between the two Dravidian parties — the DMK (by itself taking 89 seats, with the Congress winning eight and IUML one) and the AIADMK — indicating that the idea of a third front or alternative is yet to cut its political teeth in the state.

The PWF–DMDK combine and the PMK did not manage to get even one seat. The BJP too was unable to open its account, though it came a close second or third in many seats.

There were upsets in the AIADMK too with some of the more prominent candidates, including Ministers and former Ministers, not making it past the post. On the contrary, most of the key candidates of the DMK won satisfactorily.

Scenes of celebration on one side of Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai — at AIADMK chief Ms. Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence — were in sharp relief to the despondency and disbelief on the other side — in Gopalapuram, where DMK president M. Karunanidhi lives — as information about the leads poured in. For the AIADMK cadre, the victory was made sweeter by the fact that the party was retaining power, for only the second time since MGR did so in 1984.

Earlier, Congress leader Kamaraj had enjoyed two terms as Chief Minister between 1954 and 1963. Barring these exceptions, Tamil Nadu has always given the mandate alternately to the AIADMK and the DMK.

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