PMK comes a cropper in State

Shyam Ranganathan

It lost all six seats it contested in Tamil Nadu and the sole Puducherry seat

Decline in wins scored by junior allies

MDMK wins one seat out of four it contested

CHENNAI: For the first time in a decade, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will not be part of the ruling dispensation at the Centre.

The PMK, which has been called the “weather vane” of the political scene, has drawn a blank, losing all the six seats it contested in Tamil Nadu and the sole Puducherry seat, while its senior alliance partner, the AIADMK, won nine.

The results show a decline in the wins scored by the junior alliance partners of both fronts. Part of the AIADMK front, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) has won only one out of the four it contested with party leader Vaiko losing in Virudhunagar, while the two communist parties have won one each of the three each they contested. CPI’s state secretary D. Pandian also lost from the North Chennai constituency.

In the DMK-front, the Congress has lost seven of the sixteen seats (including Puducherry) it contested, and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi won one of the two it contested.

Among the major casualties in the Congress were Union Minister for Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar, who lost to the AIADMK’s O.S.Maniyan, the Minister of State for Textiles EVKS Elangovan, who lost in Erode to A. Ganesamoorthy of the MDMK.

The PMK, which won four seats in 1998, in alliance with the BJP and the AIADMK, stayed on in the BJP-led NDA and won five seats in the 1999 elections, and was rewarded with ministerial berths.

In 2004, the party switched to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance after parting ways with the AIADMK in the State and won six seats.

In the current elections, it went with the AIADMK-led alliance, contesting in seven seats (six in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry), but has lost all seven, many of them by considerable margins.

In a press release issued on Saturday, PMK leader S.Ramadoss said his party was defeated because the ruling party focussed all its energy in these constituencies. He said this was explained by the fact that more than 75 per cent votes were polled in five constituencies contested by the PMK.

“That money was given to voters in the PMK constituencies is an understatement. Money was splurged,” he said, adding that the victory of the ruling party and its allies “was not real.”

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