The NTK contested the 2021 Assembly election in all the 234 constituencies without forming alliance and though they did not win any seat they managed to grab 7 per cent of votes. The NTK, which obtained only 1.1 per cent votes in 2016 Assembly elections rose to the status of third largest party in the state, mostly at the cost of the AIADMK.
On analysis of the results, NTK has played spoilsport for both the DMK and AIADMK in 67 constituencies, but out of the 67 constituencies NTK helped DMK win in 43 constituencies, almost two-thirds of the seats. Theoretically speaking, if the votes of AIADMK is combined with that of NTK, AIADMK alliance would have won in 118 seats, the exact number required for forming a government.
The list of 43 constituencies also include three constituencies in which former ministers lost to DMK candidates, including Jolarpettai constituency where former minister KC Veeramani lost, Rajapalayam in which former minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji lost and in Sankarankoil where former minister VM Rajalakshmi was defeated.
The NTK also performed better in Kongu region where the AIADMK grabbed majority of seats. NTK managed to split the votes of AIADMK helping DMK win in constituencies in Kongu region such as Salem North, Senthamangalam, Tiruchengode, Erode East, Dharapuram, Kangeyam, Anthiyur, Tirupur south, Uthagamandalam and Coonoor.
Though the NTK too helped AIADMK win in 24 seats, by splitting the votes of DMK, the number is still insignificant for DMK alliance as the alliance is well past the magic number of 118 even if the 24 seats are not on their side.
Political analysts too say that NTK for the past two elections have been splitting the vote share of the AIADMK. “Looking at the 2016 elections, AIADMK grabbed 40.3 per cent but slumped to 18.5 per cent in 2019 Parliament elections. The votes of AIADMK were grabbed by NTK, AMMK and MNM in 2019 but in 2021, AIADMK which obtained 33.3 per cent votes managed to gain the lost votes from AMMK and MNM. However, the AIADMK could still not regain the votes lost to NTK and party has grown at the cost of AIADMK,” said political analyst Raveenthran Duraisamy.