Initial trends in the Vellore Lok Sabha election results show the AIADMK ahead of the DMK. At around 11 am, Tamil Nadu’s ruling party was maintaining a clear lead of about 11,000 votes ahead of the DMK. The AIADMK has capitalised on the absence of TTV Dhinakaran’s party, as there is no factor to split the votes. Further, the DMK has failed to consolidate minority votes.
The Vellore seat is the last Lok Sabha constituency to hold elections. Polls were deferred after the Election Commission allegedly seized cash during the campaign which it claimed was being used to influence voters. The constituency went to polls on August 5.
Even though the margin of AIADMK candidate A C Shanmugam came down from 15,000, the ruling party was maintaining a clear lead over DMK’s Kathir Anand, son of veteran DMK leader Duraimurugan.
Vellore is known for its sizeable minority population, which includes 21 per cent Muslims and 9 per cent Christians, besides 20 per cent Dalit votes. And only Vaniyambadi, one of the two minority strongholds in Vellore, boosted DMK’s lead, while AIADMK was leading in all other constituencies including Ambur, another bastion of minorities where DMK expected a clear lead.
A senior DMK leader, hoping that there will be a change in the trend and DMK’s performance would improve before noon, said it would have fared better if TTV Dhinakaran was contesting. “There were no factors to split AIADMK votes when they used maximum state machinery to win this election with power,” the leader said. “These are initial trends, this will change soon.”
The ruling AIADMK leadership see it as an obvious sign of victory. The party headquarters in Chennai was busy attending calls from cadres inquiring about celebrations.
“People have that trust in the AIADMK government. They have not only rejected Dhinakaran in the last election, but now DMK too. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is emerging as a prominent leader. People know that there is no point in sending one more DMK MP to Delhi,” said Rajan Babu, a local AIADMK leader from North Chennai. He is to lead a group to Vellore from the party headquarters. where it is believed that AIADMK’s victory is sure.