The DMK seems to have won over the electorate of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai entirely as the party has bagged all 16 seats under the Chennai metropolitan area. Though the party has held sway over the city’s voters in previous elections too, 2021 has been a clean sweep.
In 2016, the AIADMK had six MLAs from Chennai — including former chief minister J Jayalalithaa who had contested from RK Nagar. One of the more influential ministers D Jayakumar was also from a Chennai constituency, Royapuram.
This is the city which has seen top names of DMK like MK Stalin, Udayanidhi Stalin, N Ezhilan, BJP’s Khushboo Sundar, ADMK minister D Jayakumar and former IPS officer R Nataraj all contesting.
These elections, though, have given sharp victories to the DMK. While Stalin and his son Udayanidhi have both won from Chennai constituencies — Kolathur and Chepauk — the party has gained across all others too. In Thousand Lights, its candidate Ezhilan has defeated high-profile Khushboo Sundar of the BJP by over 17,000 votes.
In the conservative Mylapore segment, former IPS officer and Jaya loyalist R Nataraj lost to DMK’s Velu. In Harbour, even as BJP’s Vinoj Selvan got initial leads, he eventually lost to DMK’s Sekar Babu by over 25,000 votes.
Further, the two parties saw a close fight in T Nagar, where ultimately DMK’s J Karunanithi prevailed over erstwhle AIADMK MLA and by a margin of just 137 votes. Possibly the smallest margin this election.
DMK has always had considerable influence in the city and now it has tightened that hold. At the same time, many pollsters have pointed out that the urban votes in areas like Chennai don’t go by caste. They are usually based on development agendas, unlike other regions of Tamil Nadu where caste plays a major role in deciding elections.