DMK wrests Vellore Lok Sabha seat from AIADMK, taking its tally to 38
DMK nominee DM Kathir Anand, son of the party’s principal secretary S Duraimurugan beat AIADMK candidate AC Shanmugam with a slender margin of 8,141 votes.Updated: Aug 10, 2019 09:27 IST
Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has defeated the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Vellore, which went for Lok Sabha polls on August 5. The votes were counted on Friday.
DMK nominee DM Kathir Anand, son of the party treasurer S Duraimurugan beat AIADMK candidate AC Shanmugam with a slender margin of 8,141 votes. Anand polled 4,85,340 votes. Meanwhile, Shanmugam - who is the head of the New Justice Party (NJP - an OBC dominant Mudhaliyar caste) an ally of the ruling party, but who contested under AIADMK’s two leaves symbol, got 4,77,199 votes. The victory margin was lesser than the NOTA polled votes of 9,398.
The slim margin of DMK was also attributed to the presence of Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK - a Tamil Nationalist party) candidate Deepa Lakshmi, who got 26,995 votes for the Vellore LS seat. A total of 28 candidates fought in the election.
The Lok Sabha elections were postponed in Vellore after the IT department officials unearthed cash to the tune of Rs11crore from places which were allegedly owned by the people associated with DMK candidate Kathir Anand.
With this win, DMK’s own strength in the Lok Sabha has grown to 24. When elections were conducted for the 38 Lok Sabha constituencies on April 18, the DMK alliance had a landslide victory by winning 37 out of 38 seats. Only Tamil Nadu deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son O P Raveendranath Kumar was the sole NDA candidate to win in the April LS polls from the Theni seat.
In 2014, AIADMK’s Senguttavan had won the Vellore LS seat with a margin of 59,393 votes. Shanmugam who had then contested as a BJP candidate in the 2014 LS polls had finished as the runner up with 3,24,326 votes.
The initial trends had shown that Shanmugam was leading. However, after 11 am, Kathir Anand, who trailed in the initial counting took the lead after counting started in the minority dominated assembly seats.
Anaikkattu, Vellore, Gudiyatham, Ambur, KV Kuppam and Vaniyambadi state legislative assembly constituencies fall under the Vellore LS seat.
Vellore, Ambur and Vaniyambadi state legislative assembly seats where minorities have more than two and a half lakh votes gave an edge to Anand.
DMK president MK Stalin said that Vellore voters had defeated the ruling party’s fake propaganda against the DMK.
“We expected the outcome. DMK, which is the third-largest party in the LS, has got another MP. Since we swept the April 2019 LS elections, AIADMK has alleged that our victory was due to unrealistic promises given to win the elections. However, the Vellore election results have proved that AIADMK’s campaigns against DMK are false. The DMK will fight for the cause of TN people. We will preserve the Dravidian legacy,” Stalin said in a statement.
DMK Treasurer S Duraimurugan said Vellore people’s mandate proves that people have belief in Stalin’s leadership.
“The election result has shown that DMK is the favourite party for minority community voters,” Duraimurugan told the media.
AIADMK senior leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said AIADMK had won the hearts of Vellore people despite losing the elections. “We expected that we would finish with victory in Vellore. Though we lost in the polls, we won the hearts of people,” said Jayakumar.
Meanwhile, political analysts feel that the AIADMK has performed well despite losing the seat
“The April 2019 election results witnessed anti-incumbency against the ruling AIADMK in state. However, this time the DMK had to toil for a nail-biting victory. Also, the Vellore election results show that AIADMK, is regrouping in the post-Jayalalithaa era and has come out from that vulnerable shadow, “ political analyst Aazhi Senthilnathan told HT.