Chennai: At last, the DMK, which was facing back to back defeats, today posted its first major victory under the leadership of M K Stalin, as the party established clear leads in the Lok Sabha elections held in Tamilnadu.
Staying true to the trends in the exit polls, DMK and its alliance parties’ candidates were leading by a huge margin even as the counting of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamilnadu and Pudhucherry began this morning at 8 am.
Prominent DMK candidates A Raja, Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maaran, T R Baalu, Kalanidhi Veeraswamy stayed way ahead of their competitiors which came as a happy news for the cadres who started celebrating at the party office even as the initial trends were shared.
With the results likely to be in favour of the DMK alliance in Tamilnadu, the party’s president Stalin has silenced all his critics who questioned his leadership. It may be noted that this is the first major election faced by the DMK with Stalin as its president.
Not just the DMK, even its alliance parties candidates too had a good show. Prominent Congress candidates Karti Chidambaram, S Jothimani, A Selvakumar, Su Thirunavukarasar and Vasantha Kumar were all leading with good numbers. Similarly nominees of the CPI(M) and CPI were leading in Madurai and Nagapattinam respectively as per the initial rounds.
AIADMK which made a clean sweep in the last Lok Sabha elections were leading in only two constituencies (Theni and Chidambaram) out of the 20 in which it contested. Apart from AIADMK, PMK’s Anbumani Ramadoss was the only other candidate in the alliance to have a solid lead.
BJP leaders Tamilisai Soundarajan, H Raja, C P Radhakrishnan, Pon Radhakrishnan trailed in all the constituencies that they contested.
Meanwhile, the candidates of Makkal Needhi Maiam from Chennai South, Central and North Lok Sabha constituencies pulled 12.5, 13 and 12 per cent votes till noon.
Counting of votes was underway in 45 centres across the State, with over 17,000 polling staff and 45,000 police personnel on duty.
As many as 1,520 personnel from the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces and over 38,000 from State police have been deployed on duty. A total of 88 counting observers are tasked to oversee the counting process.
The ruling Congress has taken an impressive lead in the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Pudhucherry.
Congress candidate V Vaithilingam has secured 1,74,718 votes while his nearest rival Narayanasamy Kesavan of AINRC has polled 90,814 votes, according to the information made available by the Election Commission till noon. Congress is part of the DMK led alliance while AINRC is an ally of the BJP.