DMK, Congress win all 5 seats in TN


By-elections for 17 assembly seats -- five each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, four in Uttar Pradesh, two in West Bengal and one in Meghalaya -- were held on August 18 and counting was taken up today.

In Tamil Nadu, the ruling DMK-Congress combine won all the five seats in the by-elections boycotted by opposition AIADMK and its allies MDMK and PMK.
DMK candidates won in Cumbum, Burgur and Ilayankudi while its principal ally Congress emerged victorious in Srivaikuntam and Thondamuthur.
The DMK-led Democratic Progress Alliance had a cakewalk because of the boycott by AIADMK, which maintained that free and fair polls could not be held under DMK rule in the state and expressed fears that the electronic voting machines were vulnerable to manipulation.

Actor-politician Vijaykant's fledgling DMDK failed to live up to the image it sought to project as an alternative to the principal Dravidian parties -- DMK and AIADMK -- and had to be content with the runners-up position in Cumbum seat.
Today's victory has pushed up DMK's strength in the 234-member Assembly to 98 and that of Congress, supporting it from outside, to 35.
DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi attributed the performance to achievements of the UPA Government and his government in the state.
He said the people had rejected the AIADMK's boycott call and credited the victory to the hard work by his partymen.

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