Indisputable charisma and irrefutable mastery of Tamil Nadu politics are factors which enabled TN CM J Jayalalitha to win her second consecutive term in the state. This feat, apart from J Jayalalitha, has only been accomplished by two of the tallest leaders that the state has ever witnessed, K Kamaraj and M G Ramchandran. Certainly no one can take away this win from the AIADMK’s camp as they have toiled hard to win this election, with a clear mandate in the people’s court.

At the present moment it may seem that DMK may not have anything to be jubilant about. But an analysis of their performance in this assembly elections will make the party’s top leadership breathe a heavy sigh of relief. After being decimated in the 2011 Assembly Elections and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, DMK have managed to regain most of their vote base in the state.

Out of the 16 constituencies in Chennai city, DMK has grabbed a total of 11 seats while the remaining 5 seats have been retained by AIADMK. Even amongst these 5 seats, only 2 can be considered as a comfortable win while the remaining 3 are a closely pitted battle. R K Nagar which is considered to be the stronghold of CM J Jayalalitha and Mylapore contested by Ex-DGP R Natrajan were the only two places in Chennai, where the ruling party  managed to win with a huge margin (39,545 votes and 14,728 votes respectively).

Except for the West Zone of Tamil Nadu, where DMK-Congress alliance managed to get only 12 out of 57 seats, the remaining zones have all been pretty profitable for DMK. The current standings in favor of the DMK-Congress alliance are as follows:


*Chennai Zone is different from Chennai City

The election was such a closely fought battle between the Dravidian majors, so much so that there are nearly 26 seats which have been won by either DMK/AIADMK with a scanty margin of less than 2500 votes. Both the Dravidian parties have made such an irrefutable comeback, that they clearly seem to have wiped out all opposition parties.

The communist parties, CPI and CPM, for the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections seem to have not been able to win a single assembly seat. PMK CM candidate Anbumani Ramadoss lost out in a “vanniyar” caste stronghold seat of Pennagaram but his party managed to capture fourth place in terms of vote share (5.3%). DMDK-PWF-TMC CM candidate Vijayakanth not only lost his seat in Ulundupettai but also managed to lose his deposit money and diminished his party’s vote share to a quarter of its original.

Even though BJP which saw a slight increase in their vote share from 2.22 % in 2011 to 2.8 % in 2016, it did not perform as well as it would have wished for. While the states of Kerala and West Bengal saw the party’s vote percentage increase by a minimum of 125 %, it could not translate the same magic here in Tamil Nadu.

So now coming back to question which is of paramount importance. Who are the biggest losers in this 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election?

As far as Tamil Nadu voters are concerned, there is a certain uniqueness in their voting patterns. Most families in the state will be affiliated with a Dravidian major, DMK or AIADMK. The voters of the family will blindly vote for the respective Dravidian parties, thereby making it bipolar in nature.

In almost all elections prior to this, the Tamil Nadu voters haven’t had much of an alternative, it was either the AIADMK alliance or the DMK alliance. But this elections had a divergence in situation. After a period of nearly five decades, the Tamil Nadu voters were presented with a unique opportunity of having a multi partied contest in the state. BJP alliance, PMK, DMDK-PWF-TMC and certain fringe parties, all managed to contest in the 234 constituencies against the Dravidian majors.

Anti-incumbency was heavily weighed against the ruling party in the flood affected areas of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpet. Sycophancy of AIADMK MLAs was way beyond evident during their tenure from 2011-2016.

DMK’s reemergence of an alliance with their scam tainted partners in crimes, Congress, did raise quite a number of eyebrows amongst the voters. The mis-governance of the state by minority DMK government from 2006-2011 was freshly painted in the minds of most voters.

In spite of all the odds heavily stacked against them, both the Dravidian majors released a free infested manifesto from smartphones to 50% discounted two wheeler. In fact if one tried to actually read any of the manifesto released by DMK or AIADMK, it would have been evidently clear that all they tried to do was woo voters with freebies.

During the elections, this the state witnessed an official seizure of Rs 104 crores in cash which accounted for 70 per cent of total seizures in poll-bound states. In the history of Indian elections, Tamil Nadu alone witnessed the deferral of elections for two constituencies (Thanjavur and Aravankurichi) due to excessive use of cash for bribing voters.

Considering all these factors, if Tamil Nadu voters have distributed all their votes between the two Dravidian majors, then clearly the biggest losers of the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections are the Tamil Nadu voters!!!

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Pics Credit: The New Indian Express