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TAMIL NADU

AIADMK retains Kancheepuram, Gummidipoondi seats

Monday 16 May 2005

Chennai, May 16. (PTI): The ruling AIADMK today demonstrated its electoral supremacy over the DMK-led opposition in Tamil Nadu by winning Kancheepuram and Gummidipoondi seats where bypolls were held on May 14 last.

The AIADMK nominee at Kancheepuram T Mythili defeated DMK’s B M Kumar by a margin of 17,436 votes. She secured 87,164 votes against 69,728 polled by Kumar.

At Gummidipoondi, K S Vijayakumar (AIADMK) defeated B Venkatachalapathy by a bigger margin of 27,162 votes. The AIADMK candidate got 83,716 votes against DMK’s 56,554 votes.

The bypolls assumed significance as it was a test for the ruling AIADMK and DMK-led opposition to prove their strength after the last year’s Lok Sabha polls, in which the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance won all the 39 seats.

The byelections are also important as the state would be going to assembly polls in another one year. The AIADMK and the DMK along with its allies took the bypolls seriously and utilised the services of Union Minister as well as State Minister for campaigning.

Union Ministers P Chidambaram, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, T R Baalu, Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, E V K S Elangovan and R Velu actively campaigned for the DMK’s nominees, while entire Cabinet of Tamil Nadu camped in the constituencies.

The DMK entrusted its second rung leaders, M K Stalin and Arcot N Veerasamy to lead the campaign.

For AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, it is a personal triumph as she had campaigned for her party’s nominees vigorously.

The byelections were necessitated due to the death of AIADMK’s S S Thirunavukkarassu at Kancheepuram and K Sudarsanam in Gummidipoondi.

A forerunner: Jayalalithaa

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the AIADMK’s win is a forerunner to the 2006 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.

"The victory is people’s endorsement of my Government’s policies," she told reporters.

She said her party contested the polls on its own, while the opposition contested it under the seven-party Democratic Progressive Alliance banner.

"The votes we got are for our party, but the votes got by the DMK are the votes for seven parties. Still we have won and it only shows that the people are with us and it is a forerunner to the next year’s Assembly polls," she said.

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