Chennai, Oct 24: Delivering a big blow to the Opposition DMK, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Thursday won the bypolls to two seats--Nanguneri and Vikravandi--and increased its strength in the Assembly to 125.
It turned out to be a one-horse race ever since counting of votes polled in Monday's polling began at 8am, as the AIADMK candidates gained an early lead, which kept increasing with every passing round, leaving its arch-rival DMK and its ally, the Congress, distraught. M R Muthamizhselvan (AIADMK), who polled 1,13,745 votes, defeated his nearest DMK rival N Pugazhedi, who polled 68,821 votes, by a margin of 44,924 votes in Vikravandi.
In the Nanguneri seat, V Narayanan (AIADMK), who polled 94,347 votes, defeated his Congress rival Ruby Manoharan (contesting as an ally of DMK), who polled 61,134 votes, by a margin of over 33,213 votes. The AIADMK has wrested the Vikravandi and Nanguneri seats from the DMK and the Congress respectively, thereby increasing its strength in the Assembly to 125, including the Speaker.
Naam Tamizhar Katchi candidates finished a distant third in both the Assembly segments, securing 2,913 votes and 3,434 votes in Vikravandi anad Nanguneri respectively. About 0.83 percent of voters (1,560 votes) opted for None of the Above Option (NOTA) in Vikravandi, where the AIADMK secured 60.29 per cent votes as against 36.48 per cent by the DMK, while 0.68 percent voters (1,143 votes) chose NOTA in Nanguneri, where the AIADMK got 55.96 per cent votes, when compared to 36.26 per cent by the DMK. The AIADMK's victory handed a serious setback for the DMK, which had been consistently stating that the outcome of the bypolls would be a forerunner to the next Assembly polls due in May 2021.
Chief Minister and AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami termed the party’s by-poll wins in both the seats as a historical victory. Talking to the media at the AIADMK headquarters, he said the victory was a reflection of people’s confidence in the party and the government.
”Both these constituencies were won by the opposition parties in the 2016 election and now the AIADMK has emerged victorious which shows that people are with us,'' he said.
Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the byelection results have showed that the people of Tamil Nadu have reposed their faith in the ruling party. “The people have shown that they are with us. The victory is because of the AIADMK government’s achievements,” he told reporters in Madurai.
The Vikravandi seat fell vacant following the death of DMK MLA K Rathamani in June, while the bypoll to Nanguneri was caused following the resignation of Congress MLA H Vasantha Kumar after his election to the Lok Sabha. The strength of the AIADMK in the 234-member Assembly increased to 125 MLAs from the present 123. The DMK has 100 legislators, its allies Congress (7) and IUML (one), besides an Independent. (UNI)