The AIADMK and its allies have won a considerable 40 constituencies of the total 57 seats this time in western region comprising Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, The Nilgiris, Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts.
In the last Assembly polls, the AIADMK and its allies won 45 seats and an unbeatable record of 53 seats in 2011 polls under the charismatic leadership of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
In all, the AIADMK alliance has notched up a majority of seats with impressive victory margins as the party made a clean sweep by securing 10 of the 11 seats in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s home turf Salem district.
In the Vanniyar heartland of Dharmapuri district, the AIADMK and its ally PMK has won all the five constituencies as against its three victories in the last polls. It’s nothing to be surprised as the 10.5 per cent reservation for Vanniyars has come handy for the alliance.
Similarly, in Coimbatore eight constituencies went the AIADMK way and its ally BJP has been leading in a tight knit race in the Coimbatore South Constituency, while the DMK took solace by winning the lone Kinathukadavu seat.
In last Assembly polls, Singanallur was the lone seat that DMK managed to win, but the party has lost it this time.
In Erode, five out of eight went into the kitty of AIADMK, while the backward Krishnagiri district gave three seats each to DMK and AIADMK. The Namakkal backed DMK as it won four out of six seats. In Tirupur, the AIADMK won five and DMK three seats.
The Nilgiris, which is considered a traditional stronghold of DMK, the AIADMK won the Gudalur seat while Udhagamandalam was won by Congress and Coonoor by DMK. Early trends indicated a majority for the AIADMK, but the pattern changed in the following rounds.
Political observers believe that caste factor has played its part in deciding the victory of AIADMK here.
“People from the Gounder community, to which the Chief Minister belongs, have solidly voted for him with a strong desire to see an influential leader emerge from them. Also, the Vanniyar backing in districts like Dharmapuri has helped the AIADMK to win seats in the Western region. Also, the Western region has always been a stronghold of AIADMK from the time of leaders like MGR, Jayalalithaa and they are now followed by Edappadi K Palaniswami, who hails from this region,” said Ramu Manivannan, a political observer.
EPS on a solid wicket in party after team’s win
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has registered an emphatic victory with a margin of 93,802 votes in his home turf Edappadi constituency in Salem district.
The AIADMK leader secured 1,63,154 votes as against his rival DMK candidate Sampath Kumar’s 69,352 votes. Though his victory was a foregone conclusion with predictions by both pre-poll surveys and exit polls, this decisive win has come as a sweet surprise. From the first round of counting, Palaniswami maintained a clear lead to reach these record highest figures.
In fact, the Chief Minister has delivered consistent performance from his home constituency in the past polls too. In the last Assembly polls, Palaniswami romped home with a victory margin of 42,022 votes over his rival PMK candidate N Annadurai by securing a total of 98,703 votes, while the DMK was pushed to the third spot.
In the 2011 polls too, the Chief Minister secured a win with a margin of 34,737 votes by polling 1,04,586 votes over PMK candidate’s 69,849 votes.
With this, Palaniswami has won five times from Edappadi during 1989, 1991, 2011, 2016 and now. However, the party leader may not be in a mood to rejoice his victory as his march to Fort St George to be seated in the seat of power has been ended by the DMK.