TAMIL NADU

A ‘bitter’ victory for Thambi Durai?

L. Renganathan

KARUR: Victory, in Karur, tastes bitter sweet for the AIADMK and its winning candidate here former Union Minister M. Thambi Durai. Though a section of the cadres are happy that their efforts have borne fruit, local leaders do not enjoy the victory as the party has come a cropper State wide.

The moment the candidature of Mr. Thambi Durai was announced, cadres and a vast section of the public felt that the AIADMK chances in Karur had received a definite thrust. They felt that the other names that did the rounds, including that of former Minister and MP M. Chinnasamy, would not be a perfect match for the resourceful DMK candidate K.C. Palanisamy.

But that did not go down well with the possible contenders and those others who had felt sidelined by the leadership. Some of them stayed away from active campaigning.

Infighting was there in AIADMK camp as well but some deft manoeuvring by Mr. Thambi Durai such as drafting in a handful of expelled Karur Municipality councillors did the trick for him. Being a seasoned campaigner Mr. Thambi Durai took the advice of party district secretary and Karur MLA V. Senthil Balaji wherever it suited him. The leadership had put the ambitious MLA in charge of the campaign but seniors say his assistance was at best peripheral in theory and reasonable in field tactics.

It was clear to onlookers that Mr. Thambi Durai did not lean wholly on the shoulders of Mr. Senthil Balaji, for every one knew that had the results been otherwise it would have been the doomsday not for Mr. Thambi Durai but for Mr. Balaji.

It is clear from the voting particulars that disgruntled DMK elements and leaders contributed more for the victory of Mr. Thambi Durai than AIADMK functionaries. In Karur the AIADMK candidate established a remarkable 19,385 votes lead over Mr. Palanisamy, from which the latter could never recover. AIADMK should ponder why the once-upon-a-time strongholds such as Krishnarayapuram (reserved), Manapparai and Viralimalai gave leads of just 4,032 votes, 3,575 votes and 6,892 votes to Mr. Thambi Durai.

The triumph in Karur is not going to make Mr. Thambi Durai any better. Mr. Thambi Durai, the sitting Bargur MLA, has to vacate the Assembly seat. The new assignment would mean he has to warm the Opposition benches besides denying him the chance to fight the next Assembly elections and become a State Minister. That is the reason for the bitterness in victory for Mr. Thambi Durai.

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