Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: DMK leads, rival saves face
The DMK-led front headed by M.K. Stalin swept the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections after 10 years, foiling the BJP’s attempt at religious polarisation, although the AIADMK put up a fight in its bid to retain power.
“I thank all the voters and everyone in Tamil Nadu for mandating the DMK to rule for the sixth time,” Stalin, who won from Kolathur by nearly 69,000 votes, said in the evening.
At 10.30pm, the DMK-led alliance — which includes the Congress, Left, IUML, MDMK, VCK, KDMK and a few smaller outfits — won or led from 156 of the state’s 234 seats. The DMK alone accounted for 134 seats, well past the majority mark of 118.
The AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance won or led from 77 seats, with the AIADMK accounting for 67. The BJP led from 4 seats, looking set to reopen its account in the Tamil Nadu Assembly after 20 years.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan, leader of the Makkal Neethi Maiyam, lost to BJP women’s wing president Vanathi Srinivasan by a little over 1,000 votes from Coimbatore South. Star BJP candidate and actress Khushbu Sundar lost to the DMK’s Ezhilan from Chennai’s Thousand Lights constituency by 33,044 votes.
DMK youth leader Udaynidhi Stalin won the Chepauk-Triplicane seat by 60,000-odd votes.
From the AIADMK, outgoing chief minister E.K. Palaniswami won Edappadi by more than 60,000 votes while his outgoing deputy, O. Panneerselvam, led from Bodi. However, several AIADMK ministers lost.
Sasikala’s nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran, leader of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam which had broken away from the AIADMK, trailed from Kovilpatti.
“The AIADMK’s announcement of several goodies in the last few months — including the 10.5 per cent sub-quota for the OBC Vanniyars within the 20 per cent Most Backward Classes quota — has helped it in the last lap after its crushing defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” CPM leader A. Soundararajan said.
“Congratulations to Shri M.K. Stalin for the victory. People of Tamil Nadu have voted for change and we will, under your leadership, prove to be a confident step in that direction,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and RJD’s Lalu Prasad congratulated Stalin.
“Congratulations to the DMK leader M.K. Stalin on his party’s win,” defence minister Rajnath Singh said.
Total seats 234
Leads and wins
In neighbouring Puducherry, N. Rangasamy’s AINRC and ally BJP won 13 of the 22 seats declared till 10pm. The state has 30 seats.