DMK's confidence in the Chepauk- Thiruvallikeni constituency remaining their bastion has been proven true once again, as its Youth Secretary Udhaynidhi Stalin was elected to the Legislative Assembly. As of 5 pm, he was leading by a difference of over 59,000 votes in comparison to the candidate put forward by the AIADMK alliance. For the son of party chief MK Stalin, this election debut has resulted in a thumping victory.
Udhayanidhi Stalin polled 78,529 votes while AVA Kasali from the PMK secured 19,438 votes by 5 pm. For the DMK which is fighting its first Assembly election since patriarch Karunanidhi's death, this constituency was an important battle to win. The former Chief Minister had won thrice from the Chepauk constituency before its unification with Thiruvallikeni, following which another senior DMK leader J Anbazhagan represented the constituency twice in the Assembly from 2011. Thiruvallikeni meanwhile was won twice by the DMK (1996-2006) and once by the AIADMK (2006-11).
Udhayanidhi's next steps will now be watched carefully, given the already mounting allegations of dynastic politics. Seventeen candidates in the Assembly election this time around were relatives of existing candidates.
Udhayanidhi was made managing director of Murasoli, the party's newspaper, as his very first role in DMK. He was then appointed as the party's youth wing secretary, a post held by his father MK Stalin. His rise in the party, however, was notably faster than that of his father's and it has been widely reported that MK Stalin was hesitant to give Udhayanidhi a party ticket to contest but was convinced by other senior leaders. Ahead of the 2021 election, he was made to visit several districts to campaign for the DMK.
During the campaign however, he did face backlash for unsavoury comments made in regard to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and former aide of J Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala.