AIADMK retains Srirangam by a margin of 96,516 votes

Ruling AIADMK romped home by a margin of 96,516 votes in Srirangam Assembly constituency, represented previously by party chief Jayalalithaa, dealing a blow to DMK which tried hard to clinch the seat from its arch rival.

Tiruchirappali: Ruling AIADMK romped home by a margin of 96,516 votes in Srirangam Assembly constituency, represented previously by party chief Jayalalithaa, dealing a blow to DMK which tried hard to clinch the seat from its arch rival.

AIADMK candidate S Valarmathi's victory margin is more than double than that of the 41,848 vote-margin by which Jayalalithaa had emerged triumphant in 2011 assembly polls in the same constituency.

Valarmathi secured 1,51,561 votes out of the total valid votes of 2,21,173 while DMK's N Anand was the runner-up with 55,045 votes and managed to save his deposit.

BJP, which went to voters with corruption and conviction of Jayalalithaa as the main plank, like DMK, lost its deposit and could get only 5015 votes.

Also, DMDK did not campaign for its NDA ally, BJP, bringing to the fore chinks in ties.

PMK, another bickering ally of BJP, neither fielded a nominee nor supported any party. CPI(M) too lost its deposit and secured only 1552 votes.

Though traditionally the ruling parties have won in bypolls in Tamil Nadu, the victory in Srirangam is significant as it comes after Jayalalithaa's conviction in a disproportionate assets case, imprisonment and release on bail later last year.

Her conviction led to her automatic disqualification as an MLA and Srirangam seat fell vacant and she had to lose the post of chief minister as well. The bypoll was held on February 13.

By retaining Srirangam seat, AIADMK has signalled to the opposition that it continued to be strong despite its leader passing through a lean phase.

AIADMK cadres burst crackers, distributed sweets and went into a celebration mode after sulking for months following the conviction of Jayalalithaa.

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