Tamil Nadu was on Thursday set to buck the national trend yet again with the Opposition alliance led by DMK leading in 35 out of the 38 Lok Sabha seats that went to polls.
The ruling AIADMK was leading only in two constituencies, while its ally, the PMK, was ahead in Dharmapuri.
The trends are quite significant for the DMK since the party is looking at a clear victory for the first time since 2009. It lost three elections – 2011, 2014 and 2016 elections in Tamil Nadu – and its President M K Stalin has announced his arrival as the leader in style.
The BJP, which contested in five seats, was trailing in all constituencies with the lone Union Minister from Tamil Nadu, Pon Radhakrishnan, set to lose to his Congress rival H Vasanthakumar. Radhakrishnan had trounced Vasanthakumar in 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the Congress had contested alone.
Except for Dharmapuri, Theni and Chidambaram (SC) seat, the AIADMK alliance was trailing by a wide margin.
Among the prominent candidates, DMK’s Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maran, T R Baalu and A Raja and Congress’ Karti P Chidambaram, Manickam Tagore and A Chellakumar were leading by comfortable margins.
Among prominent faces in the party leadership, TR Baalu took a lead from Sriperumbudur along with A Raja from Nilgiris and Dayanidhi Maran from Chennai central.
In Sivaganga, Congress candidate Karti P Chidambaram was leading against his BJP rival H Raja.
In Thoothukudi DMK’s Kanimozhi is leading against her closest rival BJP’s Tamilisai Soundararajan with a margin of over 86000 votes.
Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai was trailing behind his Congress rival S Jothimani by over 40,000 votes. The AIADMK crumbled even in its bastion of western Tamil Nadu and the AMMK led by rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran could not make any impact except eating into the AIADMK vote bank.
Congress is the biggest beneficiary of the DMK alliance as the party was leading in 8 out of the 9 seats it contested in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry.
Many of the Congress candidates have established leads which are much more than the total number of votes that they polled in 2014 elections when the party faced the electorate alone.
The DMK has supported Congress under the pre-poll alliance under the UPA umbrella.
Elections in Vellore constituency were cancelled by the Election Commission after a large amount of cash was seized during a raid.