Chennai: The Secular Democratic Front, led by the DMK in Tamilnadu, swept the Lok Sabha polls bagging 38 of the 39 constituencies in the State and the lone seat of Puducherry.
Since postal ballots counting began at 8 am Thursday, all DMK candidates were leading in all constituencies except Dharmapuri.
In Dharmapuri, where Pattali Makkal Katchi leader Anbumani Ramadoss and incumbent MP was contesting, showed constant fluctuation till noon. But after 1 pm, DMK candidate S Senthilkumar overtook Anbumani and continued to lead.
DMK’s VIP candidates, Kanimozhi, A Raja, T R Baalu, Tamizhachi Thangapandian, S Jagathrakshagan were leading from the start and managed to stay ahead with high margins in all the constituencies they contested.
In the initial stages, it seemed like Coimbatore and Tirupur was going the way of the AIADMK-led alliance. However, CPI(M) in Coimbatore and CPI in Tirupur won.
It was an interesting fight in Chidambaram as until 5 pm, there was neck-and-neck fight between the VCK supremo Thol Thirumavalavan and AIADMK’s P Chandrasekhar. But, in the end, Thirumavalavan pipped Chandrasekhar.
In Chennai, all three constituencies went to the DMK, reversing the 2014 trend when AIADMK swept all the three seats – Chennai South, Chennai North and Chennai Central.
The one person who was able to stem the DMK surge was AIADMK’s O P Ravindranath in Theni. The youngster, son of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, led a strong fight against Congress veteran E V K S Elangovan and won with a margin of 37,770 votes.
The DMK-led alliance registered huge victory margins: S Thirunavukkarasar (Trichy) 4.53 lakh votes, P Velusamy (Dindigul) 4.43 lakh votes, and T R Paarivendhar (Perambalur) 3.9 lakh votes.
The DMK-led alliance, which was stitched together by its party president M K Stalin, stopped the juggernaut of the BJP in the south and would be the third largest party in Parliament.