Chennai: Scripting history, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha on Thursday retained power in Tamil Nadu bagging the chief ministerial post for the second consecutive term, the first time by anyone in the last three decades in the state.
The AIADMK won 134 of the 232 seats, while the DMK-Congress combine, which had hoped to unseat Jayalalithaa, had to settle for 97 seats.
The Congress tally got reduced to just eight. A solitary seat went to DMK ally, the Indian Union Muslim League.
Jayalalithaa, who retained her RK Nagar seat in Chennai by a good margin, will assume office for the sixth time, belying majority of exit polls that gave the DMK the edge in this multi-cornered contest.
Polling in two constituencies has been postponed to May 23.
DMDK-PWF-TMC combine, BJP and its smaller allies, PMK and Naam Tamizhar Katchi, which vied for honours with high-profile campaign, drew a blank as the battle proved to be confined between Dravidian arch rivals AIADMK and DMK.
DMK supremo M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and his son M K Stalin (Kolathur) won their seats comfortably.
However, the biggest losers seemed to be the DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance, led by actor-turned politician Vijayakant, and the BJP-led coalition of smaller parties, as both failed to make any gain despite projecting themselves as the third alternative.
DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance's Chief Ministerial candidate Vijaykant came a tame third in Ulundurpet while his PMK counterpart Anbumani Ramadoss was the runner-up in Pennagaram segment, which fell under his Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency.
An elated Jayalalithaa vowed to serve people with a newfound energy, saying that she will strive to fulfill all of the promises made in the AIADMK poll manifesto, such as free mobile phones and free 100 units of power to all.
"I am overwhelmed by the resounding victory the people of Tamil Nadu have given us. My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu for giving this historic victory," she said.
She also said the outcome has put "permanent end to the family politics" of DMK.
However, AIADMK faced some embarrassment when four of its senior ministers lost their seats.
Factors that added to AIADMK's win in Tamil Nadu polls:
A series of past schemes and promises of some more for them in the future had woman voters rally behind AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa to deliver her a decisive mandate for another term as Tamil Nadu's chief minister, an India Today analysis of the election outcome reveals.
Ahead of the vote, the AIADMK leader promised 50 per cent subsidy for women buying mopeds and scooters if her party retained power.
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa pledged an increase in financial assistance to pregnant women and also a state-wide expansion of special health schemes for female patients, currently restricted to few districts.
In 2015, Jayalalithaa launched an Amma Special Master Woman Health Check-Up Scheme, an Amma Maternity Sanjeevi offering nutrition supplements to pregnant women, a fleet of new transport to ferry mothers back to their homes from hospitals after childbirth and a 20-bed intensive care facility for babies.
(With Agency inputs)