Chennai: Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK on Wednesday retained the Sankarankoil (SC) Assembly constituency, with party nominee S Muthuselvi defeating DMK candidate Jawahar Suryakumar by a massive margin of 68,744 votes.
Ms. Muthuslevi polled 94,964 votes against Mr. Suryakumar’s 26,220.
Vaiko-led MDMK’s Sadan Thirumalai Kumar polled just 20,675 votes while DMDK’s Muthukumar was pushed to the fourth spot with a meagre 12,144 votes.
DMK, MDMK, DMDK and nine other candidates who were in the fray lost their deposits in the keenly contested election.
Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Ms. Jayalalithaa had deputed almost her entire cabinet to camp in the constituency to ensure the party nominee’s victory.
Ms. Jayalalithaa herself had made a whirlwind tour of the constituency to garner support for Ms. Muthuselvi, Chairperson of Sankarankoil Municipality.
Besides DMK chief M Karunanidhi, his two sons M K Alagiri and M K Stalin and senior party leaders campaigned extensively in the by-election which was held against the backdrop of acute power shortage and hike in bus fares and milk prices.
Thanking the electorate for the victory, Ms. Jayalalithaa said people have taught a lesson to those who had challenged her in the Assembly, in an apparent reference to DMDK leader Mr. Vijayakant.
This is the second victory for Ms. Jayalalithaa who came to power after a resounding victory in the assembly elections held in April last year. Her party won the Tiruchirappalli (West) bypoll in October last.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of AIADMK Minister C Karuppasamy in October 2011. He had represented the constituency four times and defeated DMK’s M Umamaheswari by 10,395 votes in the April 2011 elections.