October 21st, 2011
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Amma knows best

jayalalithaTiruchy: Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa, who has steered her party to a spectacular victory, has again proved that her charismatic appeal can defy electoral arithmetic and alliance calculations.The DMK’s defeat shows that the influence of its treasurer M K Stalin — who filed the nomination for ex-minister K N Nehru and campaig­ned till the last — does not go beyond the party’s committed voters and cadre.

During this year’s Assembly polls, 1,54,064 people cast their votes and now it has dropped to 1,27,455 votes, inspite of an increase by 10,000 voters. Despite the low turn out for the bypolls, the AIADMK doubled its victory margin, as party nominee M Paranjothi defeated Nehru by 14,684 votes, compared to the difference of 7,179 votes last time. The AIADMK polled 77,492 votes last time, which is 50.3 per cent and now it has secured 69,029 votes, which works out to 54.16 per cent of the total votes polled. This shows an increase of about four per cent for the ruling party, which sought people’s support for its performance in the last five months.

Nehru got 70,313 votes in the Assembly polls, while garnering 54,345 votes in the bypolls. The vote share of DMK five months ago was 45.64 and it has gone down to 42.64 per cent this time— a decline of three per cent.  The margin of AIADMK’s victory in terms of vote percentage was 4.66 in the Assembly polls and it has increased to 11.52 per cent.

The AIADMK contested alone, without the support of Vijayakant’s DMDK and Left parties. The DMDK has polled about 14,000 votes in  Tiruchy II, from which Tiruchy West was carved out, in the 2006 polls and the Left too has a good presence here. The DMK did not have the support of Congress, but managed to get the backing of VCK at the last hour. The absence of allies adversely hit the DMK, while the AIADMK leader has clearly proved that her party does not need allies for her party’s success in an election.

Despite the accusations against Jayalalithaa for not fielding a candidate from a minority community, the party managed to win in a constituency, with about 20 per cent of minority votes, while the DMK played the minority chord to the hilt. The verdict now will be seen as a mandate by the people to continue legal action against DMK leaders accused in land grab  and disproportionate wealth cases.

To AIADMK’s credit, it did not resort to means like the ‘Thirumangalam formula’ and ensured a free and fair election.


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