Panneerselvam managed to maintain a slender lead over his nearest rival Thangatamilselvan of DMK since the very first round of counting. With 67,685 votes, OPS leads with a margin of 7,924 votes over his nearest rival DMK’s Thanga Tamil Selvan, who got 59,761 votes at the end of 19th round. Eight more rounds of counting still on.
Though twenty-four candidates were in the fray, the contest was only open between Panneerselvam and Thangatamilselvan, who’s also the son of the soil. With two victories on behalf of AIADMK from Andipatti Assembly constituency in the district over the last two previous terms, Thangatamilselvan tried his luck in Bodinayakanur, representing the DMK in 2021 polls.
Bodinayakanur remains a key stronghold for AIADMK and it’s the constituency that elected Panneerselvam to the Assembly twice over the last two terms now. It will be the third victory for Panneerselvam from this constituency.
His political career started from Periyakulam, where he contested twice in 2001 and 2006 and won consecutive terms. But, since the Periyakulam Assembly constituency was reserved for SC/ST, he opted for Bodinayakanur constituency and continued to achieve success.
Earlier, ahead of the polls when the Assembly passed a bill for 10 per cent internal reservation for Vanniyars, Panneerselvam sensed trouble as the move would make a serious dent in his credibility for any chance of winning in the seat and was also embroiled in controversy after his statement stating the reservation as provisional.
Bodinayakanur holds sentimental value for AIADMK, which peaked in political strength as the party emerged victorious on seven occasions since 1977. The AIADMK’s victory became so prized from here when J Jayalalithaa, emerged victorious in 1989.