77% polling recorded in bypolls in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu recorded 77.62% voter turnout in the by-elections to four Assembly constituencies on Sunday. PTI file photo

Tamil Nadu recorded 77.62% voter turnout in the by-elections to four Assembly constituencies on Sunday.

While Aravakurichi recorded the maximum of 84.28%, Ottapidaram was the lowest with 72.61% voter turnout. Tiruparankundram recorded 74.17% and Sulur 79.41%. The bypolls are crucial for the survival of the AIADMK government led by Edappadi K Palaniswami.

An impressive turnout was also recorded in 13 booths that went to re-polling in four Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.

While Sulur became vacant after its MLA Kanagaraj died of heart attack after the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls, the schedule for Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Tiruparankundram was not announced along with the other 18, since there were election petitions regarding these segments pending in the court.

With 22 Assembly seats going to bypolls, the results have the potential to decide the fate of the government. The AIADMK currently has the support of 115 MLAs, including Speaker P Dhanapal, in a house whose strength currently is 212.

The bypolls would witness an intense three-cornered fight between AIADMK, DMK and AMMK floated by AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran. Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam is also making efforts to make its presence felt in the polls.

The AIADMK needs to win at least half-a-dozen seats to continue in power – four of its MLAs are openly supporting either Dhinakaran or the DMK, of which three have been issued show-cause notices by Speaker P Dhanapal, which have been struck down by Supreme Court.

The DMK might be able to form the government only if it wins 21 of the 22 seats, since the majority mark is 118. It currently has 97 seats, including Congress’ eight and lone MLA from the IUML.

Dhinakaran’s leadership would also be put to test if his party candidates win seats in the bypolls, since they would be deemed only as independents and not belonging to any party since AMMK is yet-to-be registered.

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