Vote share difference does not back PMK founder’s position

On average, the AIADMK polled just over 4,000 votes more than the PMK

PMK founder S. Ramadoss’s recent criticism of his allies for having violated “alliance dharma” during the 2021 Assembly election may not be particularly valid if the vote share of the party and the AIADMK-led coalition in select crucial districts is any indication. He had said that the party should have won in at least 15 seats, but its allies did it in.

Even at the macro level, the difference between the average votes polled by the AIADMK and those of the PMK is not very wide. The former got 1,53,91,055 votes in 191 constituencies, with an average of 80,581 votes per constituency. On the other hand, the PMK, which was allotted 23 seats, netted 17,58,774 votes, securing 76,468 votes on an average in every constituency it contested. The margin of difference between the AIADMK’s figure and that of the PMK was about 4,000 votes, which was understandable, given the strengths and weaknesses of the two parties.

The alliance also consisted of the BJP, which lagged behind its allies. The national party’s average was about 60,684 votes, nearly 20,000 votes short of what the AIADMK had polled per constituency.

A look at districts

If one takes a closer look at a couple of districts where the AIADMK and the PMK are said to be strong, there was not much difference between the vote share of the PMK and that of the coalition. Take the case of Ariyalur which has two constituencies — Jayankondam and Ariyalur. The alliance lost in both and its vote share was 44.12%. The PMK fielded its spokesperson, K. Balu, in Jayankondam, where the party’s vote share was 43.48%. Similarly, in Dharmapuri, where the PMK bagged two seats, including Pennagaram where party president G.K. Mani won, its vote share was 49.52% against the coalition’s 50.8%. The AIADMK emerged victorious in the remaining three constituencies of the district.

The trend is more or less the same in Villupuram district where the PMK got one out of two constituencies it contested and the AIADMK won two. The remaining four seats went to the DMK. The PMK’s vote share was 40.34%, whereas the AIADMK-led front’s tally was marginally higher, at 41.58%.

But Salem presents an ironical picture. In the district, all the seats were bagged by the AIADMK-led front, including Mettur and Salem (West) where the PMK won. However, the difference between the front and the PMK was considerable with about 4.5 percentage points. The former got about 51% against the PMK’s individual tally of 46.55%. This could be ascribed to the lack of support for the PMK among the non-Vanniyar communities, a leader from the district contends.

Substantiating Dr. Ramadoss’s argument, a second-line PMK leader said his party was one of the factors for the AIADMK to win in 66 seats, though the party was in power for 10 years. But the PMK’s contribution was not reciprocated adequately by the alliance leader.

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