AIADMK did not benefit much from its alliance with the PMK and the 10.5% internal reservation granted to the Vanniyars
Voters of north Tamil Nadu played a crucial role in catapulting the DMK to the seat of power, despite the AIADMK’s alliance with the PMK.
While in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts, the DMK-led alliance made a clean sweep, winning or establishing leads in all 36 constituencies, it won in three out of four seats and was leading in one in Kancheepuram district. In adjoining Chengalpattu district, the alliance was leading in six seats out of seven, at the time of going to print.
The results appeared to indicate that in north Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK did not benefit much from its alliance with the PMK and the 10.5% internal reservation granted to the Vanniyars from within the Most Backward Community quota. The voters turned their back on the AIADMK’s prominent candidates, including Ministers C.Ve. Shanmugam, M.C. Sampath and K.C. Veeramani.
On the contrary, the AIADMK-PMK alliance seemed to have worked only in the western districts of Salem, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri.
Overall, the PMK was leading only in five of the 23 seats it contested in, and three of these seats were in the western region.
Though Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had taken the initiative to trifurcate Vellore district and created Ranipet and Tirupattur districts, the measure did not benefit the AIADMK electorally. In the three districts and Tiruvannamalai, the DMK-led alliance was leading in 16 out of 21 seats.
However, it was not a smooth ride for DMK general secretary Duraimurugan, a veteran of poll battles. In his home constituency of Katpadi, he had trailed since the morning and almost lost, but recovered in the latter rounds to maintain a slender lead over his AIADMK rival. Incidentally, he belongs to the Vanniyar community.
The overall trend largely mirrored the 2016 election and the DMK-led alliance was on course for victory in a larger number of seats this time.
The DMK also trounced prominent Ministers in Chennai and surrounding regions such as D. Jayakumar in Royapuram, Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan in Avadi and Benjamin in Maduravoyal. The defeat of Mr. Jayakumar was a surprise as Royapuram has been his fortress from where he had won in all elections since 1991, except in 1996.
The AIADMK’s chances in Cuddalore district was put paid to by internal party squabbles, rebellion against the Minister and the change of candidates, sources said, helping the DMK-led alliance lead in six out of nine seats. In Villupuram too, the alliance was leading in three out of seven seats. At Kallakurichi, the alliance was leading in three out of four seats.