Chennai south: BJP’s best show fails to stop DMK, AIADMK loses deposit

While DMK got around 47% of the votes, BJP got around 25%, and AIADMK managed to get only over 16% of the votes.
BJP Chennai HQ wearing a deserted look on Tuesday
BJP Chennai HQ wearing a deserted look on Tuesday(Photo | Ashwin prasath)

CHENNAI: It was clear from the start that DMK candidate Tamizhachi Thangapadian was poised to win the Chennai South constituency and she eventually won the seat for the second time with a margin of over 2 lakh votes. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the traditional Dravidian rival, the AIADMK, which got the second spot, but BJP.

Though happy about their victory, some DMK supporters voiced concern about the saffron party starting to gain a foothold in the constituency. AIADMK candidate and former MP of the constituency, J Jayavardhan, even lost his deposit.

This is the best performance of the BJP in the constituency without the support of the two Dravidian majors, thanks to the familiar face of Tamilisai Soundarrajan and the presence of the significant upper caste, upper class population. While DMK got around 47% of the votes, BJP got around 25%, and AIADMK managed to get only over 16% of the votes.

The AIADMK trailed the BJP in all the six assembly segments. As of Tuesday night, the difference was higher in T Nagar (26,942 votes) followed by Velachery (26,536) and Virugambakkam (19,466). In Sholinganallur, it was 17,173 votes; Mylapore 16,315 votes; and Saidpet 5,588. “After three rounds in Sholinganallur, the difference between DMK and BJP was a little more than 1,000 votes. BJP polled more votes in areas including Madipakkam, Ullagaram, and Puzhuthivakkam, where there is a significant upper caste population,” said a DMK counting agent.

According to party cadres in different counting areas, BJP performed even well in some areas of Jafferkhanpet, West Mambalam, Abhiramapuram, Alwarpet, Teynampet, Nandanam, Royapettah, Mylapore core areas, Velachery, Kodambakkam, Ashok Nagar, T Nagar, and across Sholinganallur. “In one of the booths in T Nagar, AIADMK managed to get only seven votes while NOTA got six votes. For a party that has always been compared with NOTA, we are happy to perform better than one of the Dravidian majors,” said a BJP booth agent. In the postal votes, the BJP came first securing more votes than both DMK and AIADMK.

The BJP first came close to victory in the constituency when Jana Krishnamurthi, who later became BJP president, contested in 1998 as part of the AIADMK alliance and came runner-up by securing 45.9% votes. The second closest was when present Nagaland Governor La Ganesan secured 24.1% of votes in 2014 without the support of the two Dravidian majors. But he came only third. This time, Tamilisai has managed to get more than 26% votes even with 10 years of anti-incumbency against the BJP government at the centre and also the situation generally favouring DMK.

“The party cadre worked well. At the ground level, we got the sense that the fight was between DMK and us. Only after the final numbers are out, we will have to analyse the performance of the party,” said Jayavardhan from AIADMK.

Meanwhile, Tamilisai thanked the cadre who voted for her. “I was looking forward to serving the people. I was planning to open an MP office in each assembly segment. It will now be opened as a welfare office and we will continue to work for the people to win their support,” she said.

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