Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK juggernaut rolled on Thursday getting a simple majority with the Chief Minister bucking the anti-incumbency trend and retaining power in Tamil Nadu for a second consecutive term, the first time by anyone in the last three decades in the state.
The AIADMK bagged 134 seats in the 232 Assembly constituencies- polling in two constituencies has been postponed to May 23.
However, DMK and its allies including Congress and IUML gave a tough fight and emerged a strong opposition winning 98 seats in total.
This marked a significant gain from DMK’s 2011 performance when the party had returned only 23 MLAs.
Jayalalithaa, who retained her RK Nagar seat in Chennai by a good margin, will assume office for the sixth time, belying majority of exit polls that gave the DMK the edge in this multi-cornered contest.
DMDK-PWF-TMC combine, BJP and its smaller allies, PMK and Naam Tamizhar Katchi, which vied for honours with high-profile campaign, drew a blank as the battle proved to be confined between Dravidian arch rivals AIADMK and DMK.
DMK supremo M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and his son M K Stalin (Kolathur) won their seats comfortably.
However, the biggest losers seemed to be the DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance, led by actor-turned politician Vijayakant, and the BJP-led coalition of smaller parties, as both failed to make any gain despite projecting themselves as the third alternative.
DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance's Chief Ministerial candidate Vijaykant came a tame third in Ulundurpet while his PMK counterpart Anbumani Ramadoss was the runner-up in Pennagaram segment, which fell under his Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency.
An elated Jayalalithaa vowed to serve people with a newfound energy, saying that she will strive to fulfill all of the promises made in the AIADMK poll manifesto, such as free mobile phones and free 100 units of power to all.
"I am overwhelmed by the resounding victory the people of Tamil Nadu have given us. My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu for giving this historic victory," a beaming Jayalalithaa said.
She also said the outcome has put "permanent end to the family politics" of DMK. However, AIADMK faced some embarrassment when four of its senior ministers lost.