The DMK, led by MK Stalin, has a clear edge over the ruling AIADMK front. The DMK and its allies, including the Congress, is leading in 155 (win and leads) Assembly constituencies, while the ruling AIADMK is set to emerge victorious in 70 seats and its allies, the PMK and BJP were ahead in five and four constituencies, according to last reports provided by the Election Commission for 234 seats. A number of top political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati, congratulated Stalin, who is all set to become the next chief minister of the southern state, for the DMK?s victory. Superstar Rajinikanth, who opted out of politics some time ago after falling ill, also wished the DMK chief. ?I wish my friend MK Stalin all the best for the forthcoming term as chief minister. May he perform to the fullest satisfaction of all people of Tamil Nadu,? he said.
Outgoing Chief Minister K Palaniswami was comfortably leading in his home segment of Edappadi in Salem district, while his deputy O Panneerselvam is trailing his main rival, DMK?s Thanga Tamilselvan, a former party colleague, by a thin margin.
Earlier, Stalin, who won from Kolathur constituency by winning over 33,000 votes, chided jubilant DMK workers in Chennai as they celebrated at the party headquarters flouting Covid-19 norms. His son and DMK Youth Wing secretary Udhayanidhi, defeated PMK rival AVA Kassali by a margin of 69,355 votes in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni.
Actor-turned-politician and Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan lost to BJP women?s wing national president Vanathi Srinivasan in Coimbatore South constituency.
Counting of votes of the 234-member Legislative Assembly election in Tamil Nadu began at 8 am on Sunday with strict protocol in place. While both the Dravidian parties — DMK and AIADMK — fought the election following a bitter poll campaign, exit polls gave the DMK and its chief an edge. The DMK victory in this Assembly election will bring it back to power after a decade. While the AIADMK is in alliance with the BJP, the DMK has tied up with the Congress. While these two alliances are the top contenders, added to the mix was Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM). Like in West Bengal, the BJP has also looked to make inroads in Tamil Nadu.
These were also the first elections fought in years without the two party stalwarts and arch-rivals J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. Polling for the state was held on April 6. In 2016, the AIADMK won 136 seats and the DMK won 89 of the 178 constituencies it contested. DMK ally, the Congress, won eight seats, while the Indian Union Muslim League (another partner in the DMK’s coalition) won one seat. While till 2016, Tamil Nadu has always voted for a change in government, in 2016 Jayalalithaa managed to stay in power for a second term.
The absence of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi is significant in these elections. Political analyst N Sathiya Moorthy had told News18, “Independent of the results, this election is expected to consolidate the post-Jaya, post-Karunanidhi Dravidian political hold over the state. Critics cannot anymore attribute the Dravidian success story to filmi charisma, though the freebies charge can become shriller.”
While DMK chief Stalin hopes for a mandate in his favour, chief minister Palaniswami has the backing of the BJP. Who will win the battle for the state? We will know by the end of today.
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