Dayanidhi Maran wins by a stellar margin in Chennai Central

Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran arrives for the party's General Council Meeting at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018. Stalin was unanimously elected as the party President at the meeting.Photo)
Dravida Munnetra Kahzhagam (DMK)’s Dayanidhi Maran has won over his rival, Sam Paul of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) by a margin of 3 lakh votes, in the Chennai Central constituency.

Maran, the former Union Minister in the UPA government had taken up campaigning in full steam. He is hoping to reclaim his Chennai Central seat which he lost to All India Dravida Munnetra Kahzhagam (AIADMK)’s S R Vijayakumar last year, thanks to anti-Congress wave and his own corruption allegations.

Not only has he won the seat thrice, his father Murasoli Maran has been holding on to the seat since 1996. But this time around, Maran refused to take tough questions on corruption during the campaign and stuck to welfare issues like water for his constituents, and hoping to gain from the DMK wave as predicted by exit polls 2019.

His challengers are Dr Karthikeyan from NTK (Naam Tamilar Katchi); M Parthasarathi from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP; and Sam Paul S R from Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). In Chennai North, the contestants are Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj from DMDK, S. Robert Gnana Sekar from BSP; and Dr Kalanidhi Veeraswamy from DMK.

This time around, BSP has fielded its candidates for all the three parliamentary constituencies in the metro. In Chennai South, its candidate is R Kumar. NTK however had only one candidate in Chennai Central. Kumar’s challengers are Sumathy alias Thamizhachi Thangapandian from DMK; and J Jayavardhan from AIADMK.

Slow voting
The elections in Chennai had missed the ‘Amma’ element with Jayalalitha’s death. Her replacement, actor Vijayakanth took up the mantle of campaigning on behalf of her party, but he too was marred by illness.

This time, voter turnout had been dismal in the city as well as the state. In fact, the city’s voter turnout was the lowest in the state, at 59%. Within the constituencies, Chennai North had a better turnout at 61%, as compared to Chennai Central at 58% and Chennai South came in last with 57% turnout only.

The city’s voter turnout has been declining each time in the last three elections.



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