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Tamil Nadu results: Jayalalitha marches back to power

Congress-DMK lose a prestige fight in Tamil Nadu; people vote against widespread corruption.

Written by Gopu Mohan | Chennai |
May 12, 2011 8:30:51 am

The AIADMK-led opposition front trounced the UPA conclusively in Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry,results of which will be announced formally soon.

Of the 234 seats in Tamil Nadu,Jayalalithaa’s coalition is leading from around 200 constituencies,reducing the DMK-Congress combine to a less than a quarter of what they were.

In fact,the demolition of the incumbent was so decisive that the DMK is now facing the threat of being relegated to the third place even behind the nascent DMDK,while Congress is leading only from a meagre 10 seats. Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi has registered a comfortable lead over his rival at home town Tiruvarur,though a majority of his Cabinet colleagues are staring at defeat.

The cloud of uncertainty over the outcome of this Assembly election cleared as soon as the counting started on Friday morning when the AIADMK and its allies – the DMDK,Left parties and a few smaller parties – established lead from a majority of seats.

Riding the wave that none of the psephological radars captured,Jaya has secured much more than the minimum mark of 118 (AIADMK was leading from nearly 150 seats at the time of filing this). If the figure does not convey the full picture,the image of police officials lined up in front of her Poes Garden residence to offer their greetings completed it. The official proclamation is just a mere formality away,Amma is back.

Basking in the glory under the scorching Chennai sun,Jaya made two appearances on her balcony during the day,walking from one end to the other,waving victory sign to the hundreds of cadres gathered outside her home right from the morning.

With this spectacular performance,Jaya and her party took Tamil Nadu back to single-party rule. AIADMK leaders have already made it clear that they have no intention of sharing power,while the number two party in the alliance,Vijayakant’s DMDK,announced they had no desire to seek a share.

“Our first and foremost priority is to restore the rule of law and order,” said Jaya in her first comments to the press after an assured victory,adding that her government will fulfil the promises given in the manifesto within a time frame of one and half years. She also commented the Election Commission of doing a “fantastic job” in conducting free and fair polls in Tamil Nadu.

Her main ally DMDK has put up a commendable show leading from about 27 seats out of its quota of 41. The Left parties too put up strong performance,despite contesting from a majority of constituencies,even from seats where they had little or no hope.

Till morning,the DMK camp was expecting to register a commendable performance,pinning its hopes on its welfare measures,promises of freebies and shrewd alliances with minor but influential outfits. However,with the elections coming amid a string of damaging allegations of corruption,nepotism and misdeeds by party strongmen across the State,it was too wishful a thought for Karunanidhi’s party.

The spiralling food prices that impacted millions of poor and lower middleclass families,severe power shortage that crippled life and productivity in rural Tamil Nadu and a host of other issues converged in this election,dealing a decisive blow to the ruling alliance’s chances.

The main ally Congress spent all its energy on the intra-alliance politics to secure a desired number of seats from the lead party DMK,failing to launch when it mattered most. Of the 63 it contested this time,the national party is leading only from about 10 constituencies. Besides the anti-incumbency wave,the party was also affected by the bitter infighting between the various factions. The rare victories were largely individual.

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