Tamil Nadu

Western Tamil Nadu remains an AIADMK fortress

In his first media interview in the run up to the Assembly election, DMK president M.K. Stalin had told The Hindu that west Tamil Nadu will no longer be the fortress of the AIADMK. However, on Sunday as results of the Assembly elections trickled in, the voters proved him wrong. As per late-night trends, the AIADMK had won or established leads in 31 of the 57 seats across eight districts in its bastion. The DMK was ahead in more than 10 seats and had won Bargur and Coonoor.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, the AIADMK had won 45 of these seats helping it form the government. The DMK had then won 10 and the Congress two.

Notably this time, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and the Ministers from the region, barring V. Saroja (Rasipuram), have retained their seats, despite some of them having been specific targets of the campaign by the DMK, its allies and other rival parties.

Corruption charges against Mr. Palaniswami and Ministers S.P. Velumani and P. Thangamani had dominated the campaign of all rival parties. Yet, they have sailed through.

Mr. Velumani, who was the prime target of the DMK's corruption charges, had polled 1.19 lakh votes in the 32nd round of counting for the Thondamuthur Assembly Constituency with a lead of over 44,000 votes over the DMK's Karthikeya Sivasenapathy.

The DMK's campaginers had specifically focussed on the western region, comprising Coimbatore, Tiruppur, the Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. Its campaign in all these districts had one clear message for the cadre — to prove this time round that this region is not the bastion of the AIADMK anymore.

In his campaigns streching from Krishnagiri to Coimbatore, DMK president M.K. Stalin harped on this point and made it clear that his party was bent on bucking what has been a consistent trend in election after election — the AIADMK winning most of the seats in this region whether or not it won the election Statewide.

Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman, who was targetted by the DMK in connection with the blackmail and sexual abuse of young women [which he had challenged], was comfortably ahead of his rival K. Varadarajan of DMK.

The DMK managed to wrest Hosur and Bargur in Krishnagiri district from the AIADMK.

In the Nilgiris district, the Congress retained Udhagamandalam, the DMK lost Gudalur to the AIADMK, but took away Coonoor from it.

The Pattali Makkal Katchi, an ally of the AIADMK, led in Dharmapuri, Pennagaram and Salem West. A prominent winner was PMK president G.K. Mani. Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi, an ally of the DMK, won Tiruchengode.

In Coimbatore district, the AIADMK established clear leads in nine of the total 10 constituencies. The star constituency of Coimbatore South, which the AIADMK allotted to its ally, the BJP, witnessed a close race before the party candidate Vanathi Srinivasan trounced Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan by a slender margin late on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 6:10:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/western-tamil-nadu-remains-an-aiadmk-fortress/article34468324.ece

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