The 16th Tamil Nadu legislative election has made the current Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), and deputy, O Panneerselvam (OPS) very careful in terms of being steps taken to form the government in the state post the legacy of J Jayalalitha after their unsuccessful outcomes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while the tough opposition remains MK Stalin of the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK). Being the rightful heir to the legacy of M Karunanidhi, he will have to set his position within his family and the party by winning the state assembly election. The 6.38 crore eligible citizens of the state will choose their 234 members from these many constituencies only.
On April 6, citizens of Tamil Nadu voted from 7am to 7pm by reaching polling booths and the state witnessed 71.79% turnout. The lowest voter turnout in the state was seen in Chennai district with 59.40%, while Kallakurichi registered the highest at 78%. The last one hour was reserved to vote for those who had tested positive for novel coronavirus.
Politics of Tamil Nadu
For the last 50 years, the state politics has been hegemonized by the state’s two prominent parties named DMK and AIADMK. Under the leadership and supervision of J Jayalalithaa, AIADMK defeated the DMK led by M Karunanidhi in 2011. The AIADMK maintained its majority with 136 seats during the state assembly election in 2016, while the DMK escalated its power to 98 seats. It’s important to learn that both parties have a vital change in their leadership in this year’s election due to the death of the two eminent leaders, namely Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, who died in 2016 and 2018, respectively. This election season, AIADMK is headed by the incumbent Chief Minister of the state Palaniswami, while DMK is led by Stalin, who is Karunanidhi’s son. The AIADMK won the polls, securing 135 out of 234 seats. Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Chief Minister for the sixth time on May 23, 2016. She was admitted to Apollo Hospital, Chennai due to fever and dehydration on September 22, 2016. Suffering from a prolonged illness, she died on December 5, 2016. Post her demise, Sasikala was selected as general secretary of the party and for the Chief minister Position position, but Panneerselvam rebelled against her which led to the twist in Tamil Nadu politics. She was sent to four years imprisonment in the Bengaluru central prison for a conviction in her disproportionate assets. Prior to going there, she made Edappadi K Palaniswami the Chief Minister of the state. Besides these two political parties, some other political parties that will be participating in the Tamil Nadu assembly elections are Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) parties. Being an NDA partner, the BJP will contest with the AIADMK on 25 assembly seats, and Congress has signed the agreement with DMK for fielding their candidates on 25 assembly seats.
Some key candidates and constituencies in the 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly election
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is competing from his traditional Edappadi constituency where DMK has placed T Sampathkumar from the constituency. Apart from independents, some other candidates in the queue are Sri Ratna (NTK), Dhasapparaj (MNM) and Sekar (AMMK). The constituency comes under the Salem Lok Sabha constituency. There are nearly 2,84,378 electors.
DMK President MK Stalin fielded himself from the Kolathur constituency. He is the incumbent MLA from there. The AIADMK camp is pondering on its government’s welfare schemes to conquer this seat. It has placed Aadi Rajaram to take on Stalin. There are 2,82,299 voters in the constituency.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is competing from Bodinayakkanur constituency, which comes in the Theni district. He is battling against Thanga Tamil Selvan of DMK and M. Muthusamy of AMMK who also happens to be loyal supporters of late J Jayalalithaa. Theni is also a Parliamentary constituency and is known to be a bastion of Panneerselvam. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it was the only seat that assisted the win of AIADMK.
Verdict declaration in the Tamil Nadu state assembly election 2021
The date of counting votes of the Tamil Nadu assembly election is May 2. The counting of votes will start in the early morning on the same day and the final results will be declared by evening.