The DMK's rising sun gets a chance to shine in Tamil Nadu after a decade of waiting ⁠— MK Stalin will be the next Chief Minister

The DMK's rising sun gets a chance to shine in Tamil Nadu after a decade of waiting ⁠— MK Stalin will be the next Chief Minister
FILE PHOTO: Voters stand in a queue at Kasimedu in Chennai
Unlike in West Bengal, the Assembly election in Tamil Nadu is expected to be a foregone conclusion. Nearly every exit poll has given the challenger, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led by MK Stalin, a clear majority ahead of the counting of votes today. As at 10:30 pm, the DMK was leading in 133 seats compared to its rival's 67.

Supporters of the incumbent government led by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had hoped that the current Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami would beat the odds stacked against him the way he has in the last few years since the demise of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa.

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However, DMK has emerged a winner with enough seats to govern on its own. "Congratulations to Shri MK Stalin for the victory. People of Tamil Nadu have voted for change and we will, under your leadership, prove to be a confident step in that direction. Best wishes," Congress leader, DMK's alliance partner, Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

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This will be the sixth term in government for the DMK in Tamil Nadu, which the party leader MK Stalin described as a "vote for change."

PartySeats in 20162021: Leading in seats
AIADMK and allies13389
DMK and allies99141
OthersNone4

The anti-incumbency that comes with ten years of continuous rule by his party is a lot to beat for Palaniswami, popularly known as EPS. When he took over the Chief Minister’s chair in February 2017, many of his detractors were sure that he wouldn’t be able to complete the term. However, he has only grown stronger as a leader over the years and yet, his chances for re-election were slim to begin with.

The DMK's rising sun gets a chance to shine in Tamil Nadu after a decade of waiting ⁠— MK Stalin will be the next Chief Minister
Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami

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The significance of today’s election result in Tamil Nadu cannot be overstated as for the first time in decades, both the parties are fighting without their founding leaders and both the Late K Karunanidhi (DMK) and Jayalalithaa (AIADMK) had a cult following for the entire political career.

Party2016 vote share2019 vote share2021 vote share
AIADMK40.8%44.34%36.8%
DMK31.6%32.76%34.4%
Others27.6%77.1%28.8%

In their absence, new entrants like Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) as well as other smaller parties including TTV Dhinakaran from Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) a the Naam Tamilar Katchi, led by director-turned-politician Seeman, expect this to be more than a contest between DMK and AIADMK as it has been for decades.

These are some of the key constituencies candidates (those leading are marked in bold) to watch out for:
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ConstituencyAIADMK allianceDMK allianceOthers
KolathurAadhirajaram (AIADMK)MK Stalin (DMK)J Arumugam (AMMK)
EdappadiK Palaniswami (AIADMK)Sampath Kumar (DMK)Dhasapparaj (MNM)
BodinayakanurO Panneerselvam (AIADMK)Thanga Tamilselvan (DMK)Ganesh Kumar (MNM), M Muthusamy (AMMK)
Coimbatore SouthVanathi Srinivasan (BJP)Mayura Jayakumar (Congress)Kamal Haasan (MNM), Duraiswamy (AMMK)
ThiruvottiyurKuppan (AIADMK)Sankar (DMK)Seeman (NTK), M Soundara Pandian (AMMK)
DharapuramL Murugan (BJP)Kayalvizhi Selvaraj (DMK)C Kalarani (AMMK), Charlie (MNM)
Chepauk-TriplicaneGhazali (PMK)Udhayanidhi Stalin (DMK)Rajendran L (AMMK)
Thousand LightsKhusbu (BJP)Dr Ezhilan (DMK)N Vaidyanathan (AMMK), Williams D (MNM)
KovilpattiKadambur Raju (AIADMK)K Srinivasan (CPIM)TTV Dhinakaran (AMMK)
AravakuruchiAnnamalai (BJP)R Elango (DMK)Thangavel (AMMK), Mohd Haneef Saheel (MNM)
ThoothukudiVijayaseelan (AIADMK)Geetha Jeevan (DMK)N Sundar (MNM), Velraj (NTK)


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