Tamil Nadu poll results: Opposition AIADMK sans a face in 18th Lok Sabha

Downfall likely to hurt Edappadi K. Palaniswami's leadership within party

Edappadi K. Palaniswami AIADMK leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami | PTI

As the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance sweeps Tamil Nadu this Lok Sabha polls, the Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is trailing in all seats it contested and ends up without a representative in the 18th Lok Sabha.

In the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK is contesting 32 seats while allies Puthiya Tamilagam and Social Democratic Party of India are contesting one seat each in AIADMK’s two leaves symbol and DMDK is contesting five seats. K. Krishnasamy of Puthiya Tamilagam contested from the Tenkasi constituency and Mohamed Mubarak of the Social Democratic Party of India contested from Dindigul as part of the alliance.

As counting began at 8am on Tuesday, though AIADMK led in the initial rounds in Namakkal and ally DMDK in Virudhunagar, the Opposition’s candidates trailed later. At 2.30pm, DMK candidate V.S. Matheswaran is leading by a margin of 11,992 votes against S. Tamilmani of AIADMK in Namakkal.

In Virudhunagar, there was a close fight between DMDK candidate and son of actor-politician Vijaykanth, V. Vijayaprabhakaran, and Congress candidate Manickam Tagore. While Vijayaprabhakaran was leading since the counting began, tables turned in Tagore’s favour after noon, and he is leading by 4,575 votes.

In Puducherry, Congress candidate Ve. Vaithilingam is leading by 35,447 votes.

In 2019, while the DMK-led alliance swept the polls, AIADMK managed to win at Theni, where then party leader O. Pannerselvam’s son, P. Ravindranath, won by a margin of over 70,000 votes. In the 2019 polls, the AIADMK was leading a stronger front with PMK and BJP as allies. This election, AIADMK snapped ties with the BJP and PMK is part of the NDA bloc.

The downfall is likely to severely hurt party head Edappadi K.Palaniswami. Other regional leaders within the party may use the poor performance of the party in this poll to challenge Palaniswami’s leadership.

In Western districts of Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Erode, Nilgiris and Tiruppur), generally considered a stronghold of AIADMK, the DMK-led alliance is leading in six constituencies except Dharmapuri. PMK’s Sowmiya Anbumani is leading by 10,145 votes in Dharmapuri.

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