Dealing yet another blow to arch rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday won the Vandavasi and Tiruchendur assembly seats which went to by-polls on December 19.
In the bitterly fought polls, DMK's Anitha R Radhakrishnan trounced AIADMK's T Narayanan by an impressive margin of over 46,000 votes in Tiruchendur, while his colleague Kamalakannan romped home in Vandavasi by over 38,000 votes against AIADMK's Munusami. DMK has retained Vandavasi and wrested the Tiruchendur seat from AIADMK.
Radhakrishnan, who had represented Tiruchendur as AIADMK Member of Legislative Assembly, crossed over to the DMK after resigning the seat, necessitating the by-election. DMK's triumph marks a complete success for the party this year, which it started on a winning note, humbling AIADMK in the Tirumangalam by-polls, followed by an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls in May, and bagging five seats with its ally Congress in the August by-elections.
In Lok Sabha elections, the DMK-led alliance had won 28 of the 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, dashing high hopes of the AIADMK-led front.
Elated over today's victory, DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said, "People voted for our party due to our government's achievements and the importance we accord in solving their problems."
The DMK's strength in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly has gone up to 99. The Congress is extending support from outside to the Karunanidhi government.
Incidentally, AIADMK had boycotted the August 18 by-polls, saying it would not be free and fair, making it a cakewalk for the DMK-led front.
Today's poll outcome comes as another jolt to Jayalalithaa who is yet to recover from the drubbing her party received in the earlier elections. She had actively campaigned for the by-polls.