Early trends are proving exit polls results to be accurate in Tamil Nadu, with DMK supremo inching towards victory, and the party doing well in southern districts. The counting of votes for 234 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu is ongoing in the midst of high security due to new COVID-19 guidelines. The counting began at 8 am today with postal ballots, across 75 counting centers.
Early trends show that DMK is doing well in southern districts, which are known to be AIADMK stronghold. According to a report in the Hindu, “a strong pushback from sections of Mukkulathors, a dominant community in the region, to the State government’s decision providing 10.5% reservation to Vanniyars within the overall quota of 20% for Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities, have thrown up serious challenges to the ruling party (AIADMK)."
However, the reservation can also have a positive impact on AIADMK in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu which is known to be the Vanniyar heartland.
The challenges for AIADMK aren’t only in the southern districts though. In the Northern districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, etc, two factors that are likely to play a crucial role are the price rise of essential commodities and caste.
While AIADMK has the anti-incumbency factor going against it during this election, it has not helped that there had been feud within the AIADMK camp over candidate choice in Cuddalore district.
Early trends from Tamil Nadu have given DMK an edge over the AIADMK with MK Stalin leading from Kolathur which has prompted DMK workers in Chennai to begin celebrating already. DMK had traditionally won the majority in Chennai, except in 2006, and 2011. However, this year, the DMK president has made a strong bid for Chief ministership.
The AIADMK had won successively in 2011 and in 2016, when Jayalalithaa reversed the anti-incumbency trend for the first time in nearly three decades in Tamil Nadu. After a narrow defeat in the last assembly election where several exit polls had predicted his party’s win, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin led a vigorous election campaign for assembly elections 2021 and had toured across the state for campaigning.
AIADMK ally BJP, which had not won any seat in the last polls, is contesting in 20 constituencies. Another AIADMK ally PMK is contesting from 23 constituencies.DMK ally, Congress, is in the fray in 25 Assembly segments.