Analysts say that the ‘mismanagement’ of the floods by the Jayalalithaa government explains the defeat.

AIADMKs poor show in Chennai and Kancheepuram sign of anger over floods
news TN2016 Friday, May 20, 2016 - 18:52

The AIADMK is all set to form the government in Tamil Nadu for the second consecutive term - a feat achieved after over three decades. The party has secured 134 assembly seats across the state, but in the northern districts of the state affected by the state, the AIADMK seems to have performed poorly.  

A simple analysis of the poll results in constituencies in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Cuddalore shows the magnitude of AIADMK’s loss compared to poll results in 2011.

Of the 16 constituency seats in Chennai, AIADMK won 12 in 2011. In 2016, they have won only 6.

In Kancheepuram, AIADMK won 10 seats in 2011, but only 2 in 2016. However, in Cuddalore, the AIADMK won 5 seats in 2011 and 2016.

Analysts say that the ‘mismanagement’ of the floods by the Jayalalithaa government explains the defeat.

“Of course the AIADMK has lost these seats because of the dire mismanagement of the floods in December. In Chennai, Velachery and Saidapet were worst-hit, and if you notice, the Velachery and Saidapet candidates have lost terribly,” says Mr. Murari, a senior journalist. The candidates from Velachery and Saidapet have lost by a margin of 9, 000 and 7,000 votes respectively.

The voters in these constituencies were unimpressed with her demeanor during the disaster, he says. “She never stepped out into the roads, conducting only aerial surveys to take stock of the situation. Even the relief goodies she offered had stickers of her face stuck to them, increasing the wave of dissent that had already begun to form against her,” observes Murari.

And while one might point to her deteriorating health as a reason for her lack of participation, Murari rubbishes the excuse. “Her magnanimous campaign trail clearly indicates her health condition. While she does admittedly look frailer, one cannot pin her health as a reason,” he says.

On December 1, 2015, Chennai city recorded over 500 mm rainfall. The main water drains in the city - Adyar River, Cooum River and Buckingham Canal were all believed blocked due to encroachments at the time of the floods. In fact, residents from Indira Nagar and Kasturba Nagar filed a petition in September 2015 to remove these encroachments. However, no government action was taken over these encroachments, possibly leading to severe flooding in these areas.

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