Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK has won the Tirumangalam assembly constituency by-poll in the state, officials said Monday. DMK candidate Latha Adhiyaman defeated her nearest rival, M. Muthuramalingam of the AIADMK, by 39,266 votes in a multi-cornered contest, election officials said.
Adhiyaman polled 73,472 votes. Among her rivals, Muthuramalingam (40,156) and actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth’s nominee T. Danapandiyan (13,136) were the only ones to retain their deposit. The votes obtained by the rest of the contestants did not cross three figures.
The win comes as a morale booster to the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in the wake of reports that its voter support base had eroded.
“The victory is the people’s endorsement of my government’s pro-people policies… I do not wish to comment about (any other party or parties’) non-participation,” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said.
While the Left parties, DMK’s erstwhile electoral allies, had slammed the government’s record in the run-up to the poll, the PMK, which was earlier in the DMK-led alliance in the state, had stayed away from the fray.
Different opinion polls had given AIADMK an edge over the DMK before polling.
The seat fell vacant after the demise of MDMK legislator Veera Ilavarasan in November last year. AIADMK decided to contest the seat in the place of ally MDMK.
Over 89 percent of the votes were polled in the by-election held Jan 9.
The run up to the elections was marred by violence necessitating the transfer of senior police officials. Both the ruling and opposition parties accused each other of violating the model code of conduct.
DMK ministers accused the Election Commission of colluding with AIADMK chief and Leader of Opposition J. Jayalalitha.
The counting took place in the medical college precincts here under heavy police security.
Tirumangalam constituency is situated in the outskirts of Madurai town, some 400 km from state capital Chennai.