Zee Media Bureau
Chennai: Ruling AIADMK on Sunday won the Yercaud (ST) Assembly seat with its candidate P Saroja trouncing V Maran of DMK by a huge margin of 78,116 votes.
Saroja, widow of AIADMK legislator C Perumal, whose death necessitated the bye-election, secured 1,42,771 votes, leaving Maran far behind with 64,655 votes.
As many as 4,431 voters opted for None of the Above (NOTA), introduced in the state for the first time in this bypoll.
AIADMK supporters plunged into celebrations mid-way through the counting by bursting crackers and distributing sweets after Saroja started leading from the very first round.
In a record turnout, 89.24 per cent of over 2.40 lakh voters had excercised their franchise on December 4.
Since coming to power in 2011 after dethroning arch rival DMK, this is the ruling party`s fourth electoral triumph in bypolls held so far, earlier winning Tiruchirappally (West), Sankarankoil (SC) and Puthukottai.
Gloom descended on the DMK camp in the wake of it`s dismal performance in the election despite the fact that it had left no stone unturned to upset AIADMK`s winning run.
Senior leaders and DMK chief M Karunanidhi`s children--MK Stalin and Kanimozhi-- had vigorously campaigned for Maran but their efforts failed to deliver results.
AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa described the win as an "acknowledgement and recognition" of her government`s pro-people policies.
"The voters of Yercaud have acknowledged and recognised that the fruits of the two and a half years of AIADMK government`s welfare schemes have reached the people," a visibly elated Jayalalithaa, surrounded by beaming party supporters who thronged her Poes Garden residence here, said.
With PTI inputs