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DMK wins Pennagaram bypoll by 36,000 votes

Source: PTI
March 30, 2010 19:42 IST
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Continuing its winning streak, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu retained the Pennagaram Assembly seat in the bypoll, romping home in PMK's citadel and leaving a dispirited AIADMK in the third spot.

The result, announced today, has increased to 100 the strength of DMK in the Assembly.

P N P Inbasekaran, son of P N Periannan, whose death caused the bypoll, won by a margin of over 36,000 votes against his nearest PMK rival G K M Tamil Kumaran.

The DMK-Congress combine has swept all the 13 Assembly byelections since the 2006 polls.

AIADMK's Anbazhagan managed to retain his deposit polling over 26,000 votes, but the outcome came as another dampener to the party that has been hit by a string of electoral reverses.

The March 27 bypoll, whose campaign was marred by charges and counter charges of bribing voters with cash and freebies, was seen mainly as a fight between DMK and PMK as the rural constituency has a sizeable number of most backward Vanniya
community, considered to be the vote bank of PMK.

The seat was won by PMK President G K Mani in the 1996 assembly elections when the party contested on its own. The party retained the seat in 2001 in alliance with AIADMK.

The Pennagaram bypoll was mired in controversies with the Election Commission cancelling the process after opening of nominations, prompting Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to raise questions about the EC's neutrality.

Karunanidhi hailed the party's victory, saying "People's verdict is Almighty's verdict. Ignoring any undue criticism, the DMK will continue to strive for people's welfare."

Meanwhile, PMK founder S Ramadoss described his party coming second as a ''moral victory".

The PMK polled more than 41,000 votes despite going alone with competition from AIADMK, he said. "As for PMK, this is not a loss, but a moral victory," he said in a statement. He said that people had reposed their faith in PMK and had voted for the party and said the trends proved that his party was an integral part.

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