New entrants AMMK, MNM fail to garner votes in TN
With Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam winning 23 out 38 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which was in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, was not the only one routed (they won 1 seat). New entrants Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) of actor Kamal Haasan and TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), which had hoped to win in the recently concluded general elections failed to open account.
All candidates of the latter two parties lost their deposits. To secure a deposit, a candidate should get one-sixth of the total votes polled. A candidate has to give a deposit of Rs 25,000 if they belong to the general category, and Rs 12,500 and Rs 5,000 if they belong to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories, respectively.
Dhinakaran, 56, was supposed to be the big disruptor in Tamil politics that had for long settled into the easy rhythm of a two-party system. Analysts had said that the nephew of VK Sasikala, a long-time aide of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, could potentially help the alliance led by DMK (which included Congress), by cutting into AIADMK votes for both, the bypolls and general elections.
The MNM, which was launched by Haasan a year ago, projected itself as an alternative to the two Dravidian parties, and fielded candidates in 36 out of the 38 Parliamentary constituencies and 19 out of the 22 bypoll seats. It performed reasonably in the Western region and in Chennai South
TN saw voting for 22 assembly bypolls, alongside its 39 Lok Sabha seats. However, the LS election was cancelled in Vellore, after the Election Commission found evidence that large amounts of cash was being used to influence voters.
The assembly bypolls were necessitated after a faction of legislators, led by Dhinakaran, quit AIADMK and formed the AMMK.