Chennai proves yet again it is DMK’s citadel

Ministers D. Jayakumar, ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan lose miserably; Udhayanidhi Stalin to make his debut in Assembly

The anti-incumbency wave worked big time against the ruling AIADMK government in Chennai as reflected in the election results on Sunday with the DMK and its allies winning or leading all the 16 Assembly constituencies.

In 2016, while the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK government wrested a majority to form the government, the DMK held on to 10 seats, while its rival managed to take six. Now, all 16 constituencies are back in the DMK’s kitty again.

As predicted, Kolathur turned out to be a Chief Minister’s constituency as DMK candidate M.K. Stalin was cruising to a win late on Sunday.

In the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency, his son Udhayanidhi Stalin won comfortably in his first Assembly election. From being a full-time actor, Mr. Udhayanidhi entered politics after the demise of party patriarch M. Karunanidhi, and has had a meteoric rise in the party since then.

In fact, by winning in his maiden electoral attempt, Mr. Udhayanidhi has done what his father could not do — Mr. Stalin had lost his debut election in Thousand Lights in 1984.

Egmore (R) constituency, another stronghold of the DMK in the past, elected I. Paranthamen, who defeated AIADMK’s John Pandian by a margin of nearly 29,000 votes.

In the Harbour constituency, BJP candidate Vinoj P. Selvam was leading initially but DMK candidate Sekar Babu picked up and continued to lead with a margin of over 27,000 votes.

In Anna Nagar constituency, DMK’s M.K. Mohan won for the second time, defeating former AIADMK Minister Gokula Indira.

Next generation

In Villivakkam, DMK candidate Vetriazhagan, grandson of former DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, emerged the winner. In a sense, the city has started electing the next generation of DMK leaders.

N. Ezhilan, a medical professional, won comfortably against BJP candidate actor Khushbu by a margin of over 32,000 votes in the Thousand Lights constituency.

He is the son M. Naganathan, a close associate of Karunanidhi, who was behind the DMK’s 2006 election manifesto and became Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Commission thereafter.

In Virugambakkam, DMK’s Prabhakara Raja, son of traders’ association leader Vikrama Raja, won by a margin of 18,402 votes against AIADMK’s Virugai V.N. Ravi.

In Mylapore, the DMK won after 20 years. “I thank those who voted for me. Also extend my wishes to the other candidates. Will work towards implementing whatever I have promised in my poll manifesto,” said Mylapore DMK candidate Dha Velu.

At Royapuram, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar, a local strongman, lost miserably by a margin of more than 25,000 votes to the DMK’s R. Murthy. At Velachery, Congress candidate Hassan Maulana was leading over M.K. Ashok of the AIADMK.

In the battle of Mayors, DMK’s Ma. Subramanian was leading over AIADMK’s Saidai Duraisamy in Saidapet. In T. Nagar, DMK’s J.Karunanithi was declared the winner with a slender margin of 137 votes against AIADMK’s incumbent MLA B. Sathiyanaarayanan.

The results turned out to be as predicted in many pre-poll surveys, one of which even showed an unbeatable 20% lead for the DMK over the AIADMK.

Some analysts blame the failure of the AIADMK government to provide better infrastructure despite ruling the State for the past 10 years. Most bridge works remain unfinished even after several years, causing difficulty to several thousand motorists. Except for the Smart City projects that took off in T. Nagar and the near completion of the Metro Rail phase I that was conceived by the DMK in 2008, the AIADMK government had failed to provide fitting solutions to growing urban problems, people said.

The infrastructure requirements of the added areas were also neglected, leading to an anti-incumbency wave in the city suburbs and neighbouring districts.

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