Tamil Nadu

DMDK's 2009 performance, a guide to impact on coming poll

With the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) set to enter into an electoral pact with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for the first time, the focus is on the possible influence that the five-year-old party can have on the end result.

A perusal of the party's performance in the Lok Sabha 2009 elections reveals that the DMDK, founded by actor Vijayakant in September 2005, polled more votes in 135 Assembly segments than the winner's margin of victory over the runner-up. This had largely benefitted the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led front then.

The party, which polled 8.38 per cent votes in the 2006 Assembly elections, had secured 10.1 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. But, in view of the delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in 2008, the Assembly segment-wise analysis of the party in the 2009 elections would be more appropriate.

“Our performance in 2009 can provide some guidance,” says Panruti S. Ramachandran, chairman of the presidium of the party.

The party's reach across the State can be seen from the fact that except in four Lok Sabha constituencies (Vellore, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai and Madurai), the DMDK's votes had exceeded the difference between the leading candidate and immediate rival in one or more Assembly segments of other constituencies. [Each Lok Sabha constituency has six Assembly segments].

A DMK Minister argues that the votes polled by the DMDK consisted of those which were against the two principal parties, DMK and the AIADMK.

The DMDK's decision to join with the AIADMK will not automatically lead to the total transfer of its votes to the alliance, he says.

Not fully dismissing the point, the DMDK leader, however, points out that in 2009, the votes polled by the party came from its committed supporters, as it did not sponsor any candidate for the Prime Minister's post and people also knew that the DMDK was not going to capture power at the Centre.

He says now the leadership issue of the alliance has been settled.

When his party joins hands with a bigger party and is hopeful of winning the elections, the portion of his party's vote base that may not be comfortable in the event of the alliance will be subsumed by the greater share of votes that the alliance is likely to get. A couple of more factors have to be kept in mind, while evaluating the DMDK's performance in 2009. In 19 Assembly segments [most of which are in the western districts], the Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam (KNMK) had polled more votes than the DMDK. In 11 segments of Ramanathapuram and Kanyakumari constituencies, the Bharatiya Janata Party had secured higher votes than the DMDK.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:03:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/DMDKs-2009-performance-a-guide-to-impact-on-coming-poll/article14931370.ece

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