The DMK bagged one more seat in the Lok Sabha on Friday after it emerged victorious in the election for the Vellore parliamentary seat. The main opposition in the state, the DMK now holds 38 out of 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Kathir Anand of the DMK defeated A C Shanmugam, the leader of AIADMK ally New Justice party who contested on the AIADMK symbol. However, months after the party won parliamentary seats with margins as big as five lakh votes, its victory in Vellore came with a slim margin of 8,141 votes.
The Election Commission cancelled the parliamentary election in Vellore in April after cash was seized from people with alleged links to DMK’s Anand. The EC’s took the decision on the basis of a report exposing “a systematic design to influence voters” in the constituency during the campaigns.
DMK win not without worries
The slim victory margin of the DMK in the Vellore election is significant. The result also indicates that the elevation of Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi as the party’s youth wing leader, has not helped the party much. Also, the Vellore results suggest the waning influence of the T T V Dhinakaran-led AMMK and the Kamal Haasan-led MNM. With both of them out of the fray and opposed to the AIADMK, their core votes should have gone to DMK, but that does not appear to have happened.
The Vellore electorate comprises 21 per cent Muslims, 9 per cent Christians and 20 per cent Dalits.
Following his victory, Anand said it was a gift for the hard work of party chief M K Stalin. His father and senior DMK leader Duraimurugan admitted that minority votes played a major role in the DMK’s victory and added that the poll result was a tight slap on the AIADMK for their “pro-BJP stand”.
The people of Vellore have added one more footsoldier into the opposition front to save the democracy in Delhi, said Stalin. The party had earlier accused the BJP of using the EC to cancel the polls in Vellore.
On the other hand, senior AIADMK leader and state minister D Jayakumar said the slim winning margin in Vellore shows that the DMK’s defeat is certain in the 2021 Assembly polls. “They had over a lakh margin in several seats in the Lok Sabha election. Now they have a margin of only 8,000 votes. What does it mean? They spent some Rs 125 crore for these 8,000 votes,” he said.
The absence of T T V Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) seemingly helped AIADMK retain its votes. Also, the absence of Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) in the contest does not appear to have worked in the DMK’s favour.