ஜெயலலிதாவின் அதிமுகவிற்கு மாபெரும் வெற்றியைத்தேடித்தந்த சங்கரன்கோயில் தலித்,தேவர் மற்றும் அனைத்து மக்களின் நல் நம்பிக்கைக் காப்பாற்றப் படவேண்டும்.
In Sankarankoil strange combination of upper and lower caste votes has helped the ruling AIADMK win the reserved Sankarankoil assembly seat for the sixth consecutive term, thereby preserving its traditional stronghold. The huge mandate from the dalit and thevar voters in the March 18 byelection cannot be doubted as winning candidate S Muthuselvi has trounced her DMK rival by 68,757 votes, a margin which is the highest this constituency has recorded so far.
Political observers note that the electoral verdictclearly proves that dalits have not deserted theAIADMKleader and chief minister J Jayalalithaa despite the police firing on a dalit mob in Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district last year in which six persons were killed. Similarly, the thevars have also not deserted her despite Jayalalithaa expelling her close aide and influential member of the community Sasikalaa Natarajan and her family members from the AIADMK for alleged antiparty activities. The multi-cornered contest with four major parties in the fray evidently divided the votes of the opposition parties even as dalit-thevar votebank, believed to be more than one lakh in an electorate of 2,05,870, consolidated in favour of the ruling party.
Since 1991, this dalit reserved segment has stood by the AIADMK in all the six polls, including the 1996 assembly elections contested against the backdrop of a strong anti-Jayalalithaa wave. Even if a common opposition candidate had been fielded this time, as discussed in hushed voices in the run-up to the bypoll, the ruling party would still have won by a margin of around 35,000 votes as the AIADMK secured 94,977 votes, compared to the 59,038 votes secured by DMK, MDMK and DMDK together.
“The people of Sankarankoil constituency have stood by us during our good and bad times,” Jayalalithaa said in a statement. The issues like power cuts and hike in milk prices and bus fares apparently did not affect the electoral outcome, much to the chagrin of opposition parties which were hoping to cash in on perceived anti-establishment sentiments.
This is the first time that Sankarankoil voters have elected a woman candidate. The fact that the Jayalalithaa government will complete one year in office in May and has four more years to go, would have also influenced the people to vote for the AIADMK candidate in the expectation of more welfare schemes.
Now it is the duty of Puratchiththalaivi Jayalalitha and AIADMK party members to keep up the faith of people in fulfilling their welfare schemes.