The AIADMK government led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami is likely to stay in power, as the party has won in 7 and leads in 2 out of the 22 Assembly seats in the bye-elections in Tamil Nadu. As of Friday morning, the DMK had won in 11 constituencies and leading in 2 - Andipatti and Periyakulam. Meanwhile, AIADMK is leading in Nilakottai and Sulur constituencies.
Two constituencies witnessed a close fight between the two Dravidian majors. In Sattur, AIADMK’s Rajavarman had a close win by 1,101 votes, while in Thiruparankundram Saravanan of the DMK won by 2,396 votes. TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK, meanwhile, appeared to be the biggest loser, trailing third in a number of seats.
Going by the trends as of Friday morning, the ruling party, which already had a strength of 114 AIADMK legislators, will see its tally in the House rise to 123 if their leads, too, turn into wins. The strength of the House returns to 234 MLAs following the bye-polls and the majority mark to stay in power, therefore, is 118.
The bye-polls were conducted in two phases: 18 seats when to polls on April 18, along with 38 Lok Sabha seats(barring Vellore which was countermanded). Four pending bye-polls were held on May 19. Prior to the polls, AMMK leader Thanga Tamilselvan had said that the DMK has to support the AMMK in order to topple the AIADMK government.
The bye-poll results mean that 18 of the 22 assembly constituencies finally get representatives after nearly two years. The 18 MLAs, who were supporting ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary, now AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, were disqualified on the grounds that they had “voluntarily given up their party membership”.
AIADMK’s Thiruparankundram MLA AK Bose passed away in office in August last year, necessitating a bye-poll in his constituency. Elections to these three seats were not announced along with Lok Sabha and 18 bye-polls as petitions on them were pending in the courts. MLA R Kanagaraj of the ruling AIADMK passed away after a cardiac arrest in March this year throwing open the Sulur Assembly seat.