A cursory glance at the performance of both parties in the northern districts thickly populated with Vanniyars suggests that the AIADMK and even the PMK, which set reservation as a pre-condition for electoral alliance, did not gain from what it propagandized as social justice. That the influential Vanniyar ministers of AIADMK have bit dust in the northern belt should demonstrate how the reservation announced close to the election only had a lopsided effect for the AIADMK-PMK combine. CVe Shanmugham (Villupuram), KC Veeramani (Jolarpet) and MC Sampath (Cuddalore), three heavyweights of the AIADMK in the north did not see PMK’s vote transfer to them to the desired levels.
Interesting, DMK’s ally VCK has done well in the same turf, winning in two general constituencies among the four it had won. A study of the caste factor in the polls would be incomplete without a mention of the performance of VCK deputy general secretary S S Balaji in Thiruporur general constituency where he defeated a PMK candidate and that too contesting on a symbol (pot) allotted a fortnight ahead of the polls. VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan summed it up in his victory statement saying, “Casteist, sanadhana and communal forces have bit dust. Secular alliance has been crowned.”
Victory of Tamizhaga Valvurimai Katchi leader Velmurugan, once a Vanniyar strongman of Ramadoss, in the company of Thirumavalavan in PMK stronghold Panruti was another pleasant reminder of the caste harmony trumping casteism in the north. Performance of DMK candidates in the same region was the icing on the cake for the secular alliance led by Stalin.
Aside from the fact that AIADMK bigwigs lost big time in the north, PMK had managed to win only around half a dozen of the 23 seats it had contested and lost many in its home turf Villupuram and Cuddalore would remain a talking point in the state politics for some time now. Even a Congress candidate had seen votes transfer from VCK and DMK in the north was another proof of Edappadi K Palaniswami and Ramadoss’ caste miscalculation.
A few in the DMK also conceded that the poor showing of their general secretary Duraimurugan in Katpadi must have been influenced by speculated vain attempts to divest VCK and bring PMK on board ahead of the polls.