Chennai: After a decade in opposition, the DMK is on course to capturing power from the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu as per the trends made available for the 234 segments, while the incumbent ruling party appears set to win a chunk of seats that would make it a formidable opposition.
As counting of votes progressed on Sunday for the April 6 assembly elections, the DMK steadily improved its position and was leading in 121 seats, while 118 is the minimum number required for a simple majority in the 234-member House.
If the trends hold good it will be dream come true moment for the DMK and in sync with its election song, ‘Stalin thaan vararu,’ which meant Stalin is going to become the chief minister.
Cadres went ecstatic with the trends, burst crackers and distributed sweets at party headquartes ‘Anna Arivalayam’ here, apparently in violation of COVID-19 guidelines.
On public celebrations, authorities here cited a communique from the Election Commission headquarters that directed placing under immediate suspension of jurisdictional police and ‘other officers’ and initiation of disciplinary and criminal action against them.
Police said Teynampet inspector in-charge of law and order has been placed under suspension for his “lackadaisical attitude and dereliction of duty” and not ensuring compliance of EC’s instructions in this connection.
DMK’s major ally Congress was leading in 15 seats, two Left parties together in four segments and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi in three constituencies.
DMK and its allies together are leading in 143 seats.
The AIADMK is ahead in 81 seats and together with its partners in 90 constituencies, according to trends made available by the Election Commission for all the 234 segments at 5.00 pm.
Allies PMK and BJP were ahead in six and three seats, respectively.
Trends available till now has however belied various pollsters who had predicted anywhere between 160 and 190 seats for the DMK alliance and from 38 to 68 constituencies for the AIADMK. DMK chief M K Stalin in his poll rallies had expressed confidence that his party-led front would emerge victorious in all the 234 constituencies of the state.
A key pointer in the trends available so far is that the AIADMK continued as a force to be reckoned with despite the burden of a 10-year anti-incumbency and there was no clear state-wide wave favouring the DMK.
In the 2006 Assembly polls, when the AIADMK lost, it had managed to bag only 61 seats and the DMK won 96 seats and its key ally Congress 34.
Top two AIADMK leaders, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam are leading in their respective home segments of Edappadi (Salem district) and Bodinayakanur (Theni).
Leader of opposition and DMK president M K Stalin was ahead in Kolathur constituency here and his son and party youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin in Chepauk-Triplicane segment.
In Coimbatore South, Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan’s tally improved round after round though not very substantially. From an initial neck and neck fight between Haasan and Congress party’s Mayura Jayakumar, the MNM chief was leading by a slender margin of 2,715 votes while BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan remained in the third spot.
The counting exercise is estimated to be completed after anywhere between a minimum of 13 and a maximum of 43 rounds -also depending upon votes polled in each segment- in each of the 234 Assembly segments.
DMK’s key leaders M R K Panneerselvam (Kurinjipadi) and Duraimurugan (Katpadi) were trailing their nearest AIADMK rivals by a margin of 1,314 and 4,520 votes respectively.
AIADMK’s expelled leader and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam chief TTV Dhinakaran was behind his rival, AIADMK leader and Minister Kadambur C Raju in Kovilpatti. Raju was leading by a thin margin of 1,068 votes at the end of sixth round.
Ministers leading as of now include S P Velumani, C Vijayabaskar and Udumalaipettai K Radhakrishnan.
Ministers including D Jayakumar, K Pandiarajan, P Benjamin, K T Rajenthra Bhalaji and Vellamandi N Natarajan were trailing.