Anti-Modi wave in TN; DMK alliance wins 37 of 38 seats

Anti-Modi wave in TN; DMK alliance wins 37 of 38 seats

Illustration: Prakash S

Tamil Nadu, on Thursday, lived up to its reputation of bucking the national trend yet again by handing down a decisive victory to the Opposition alliance led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) that won 37 seats and decimating the AIADMK-BJP combine which could emerge victorious in only one constituency.

The anti-Modi and anti-BJP wave, which was visible in the state for almost a year now, swept the DMK and its alliance partners to a resounding victory in the first elections the state faced after the demise of its legends – M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa. DMK won or was leading in 23 constituencies, including four seats contested by other party leaders but on the party’s Rising Sun symbol, while the Congress romped home in eight seats matching its 2009 performance.

The undercurrent against Modi and BJP was so strong that the winning margins were quite wide – the highest margin of 4.95 lakh was scored by P Velusamy of the DMK in Dindigul constituency in south Tamil Nadu. AIADMK’s bastion of western Tamil Nadu, from where Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami hails, also crumbled with its candidates losing by wide margins.  

AIADMK’s alliance partners – BJP, PMK, DMDK, Puthiya Tamizhagam and Tamil Maanila Congress – were wiped out too and many of these candidates were staring at forfeiting their deposits.

Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam put up an impressive show of emerging third in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies, while AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran could not pull out a notable performance which he promised during the campaign though his candidates emerged third in 20 seats.

The vote transfer between AIADMK and its alliance partners haven’t taken place if one takes a quick look at the data, but the process has been smooth in the winning combine of DMK-Congress. Top AIADMK leaders like Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai lost to Congress’ S Jothimani in Karur, who won by an impressive margin of 3,35,897 votes. The Congress candidates’ winning margins were five to six times more than the total number of votes that they polled during the 2014 elections in Tamil Nadu, manifesting the fact that the mandate in the state was against the BJP.

DMK’s leading lights – Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, T R Baalu and debutants Tamizhachi Thangapandian and Kalanithi Veerasamy also scored impressive wins against the candidates of the ruling alliance. The AIADMK performed a little better in the by-polls to 22 assembly constituencies in which it was leading in 9 seats at the time of writing.

Out of the 38 constituencies that went to polls – elections in Vellore was rescinded – the DMK alliance won 37 leaving just one to AIADMK which was won by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son O P Ravindranath. The performance by the DMK was quite similar to AIADMK’s stupendous victory in 2014 when the state had bucked the pro-Modi trend by electing 37 members belonging to J Jayalalithaa’s political party.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox