Southern districts key to power in TN polls
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 11:57
Madurai: Southern Tamil Nadu, comprising nine districts with 58 constituencies, may hold the key to the next government with candidates of DMK and AIADMK sweating it out to prove their strength in this crucial region which had given a surprise lead to the ruling combine in 2006 elections.

With Union Minister and DMK’s strongman M K Alagiri making the winning majority of the seats from this region as a prestige issue, stakes are high for the ruling party in the region -- Madurai to Kanyakumari at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. The fate of eight state ministers from these districts would be sealed tomorrow.

Most of the southern districts Madurai, Sivaganga, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari -- have always been with AIADMK ever since it was floated by late matinee idol M G Ramachandran but things changed after Alagiri came into political limelight.

Under his leadership, DMK made inroads into traditional AIADMK strongholds and it was evident in the 2006 Assembly polls when the DMK-Congress combine had won 41 of the 63 seats.

The AIADMK-MDMK won 22 seats but they drew a blank in Ramanathapuram and Kanyakumari districts. This performance was repeated in the Lok Sabha elections when the Opposition combine had won only one out of the total 10 seats in the region.

While DMK is contesting 34 seats in the nine districts, Congress is in fray in 17 and the rest seven are being shared by PMK and other smaller parties.

Archrivals AIADMK and DMK are facing each other in 24 constituencies in the region.


First Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 11:57

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