Vaithilingam’s defeat shocks AIADMK men

Stunned at the defeat in Orathanad constituency of Housing Minister R. Vaithilingam, the AIADMK cadre, or at least those close to him, are searching for reasons. However, Mr. Vaithilingam gathered himself up and started to canvass for Thanjavur party candidate M. Rengasamy on Friday before the Election Commission postponed the polling.

Mr. Vaithilingam had won Orathanad constituency for three terms in a row (2001, 2006, and 2011) and had nurtured the constituency well.

The caste factor was on his side and in the recent Assembly elections he was able to make a head start as the original DMK candidate and brother of the former Union Minister of State S.S. Palanimanikkam withdrew from the fray forcing the DMK to push in former Tiruvonam MLA M. Ramachandran.

Both candidates had a good campaign matching each other in word and deed.


The cadres of both the parties strived, and the only difference was that while most of the DMK cadre walked that extra mile for the sake of the party, those in the AIADMK worked for Mr. Vaithilingam.

That was visible from the dark and sullen faces of the AIADMK counting centre agents who left the centre crestfallen although their party had rewrote history by retaining power against all odds.

A senior district party functionary sidelined for long rued that the successive victories and the rising fortunes of Mr. Vaithilingam in the party hierarchy had made the Minister surround himself with a coterie and he paid the price for it.

However, Mr. Vaithilingam’s supporters expect Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to rehabilitate him.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:52:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/vaithilingams-defeat-shocks-aiadmk-men/article8628080.ece