With the AIADMK vote share plummeting from 44.9 per cent in 2014 to 18.48 per cent in 2019, speculation has been rife as to where the remaining votes went. A careful analysis of the poll data clearly reveal that TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and Seeman’s Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) have cut into the ruling party’s vote bank especially in the three constituencies of Chidambaram, Tiruppur and Dharmapuri.
The three parties — contesting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time — secured 5.1 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 3.8 per cent votes respectively, in the state, and in the process damaged the prospects of the AIADMK. Also, the three outfits secured the third position in 21, 11 and 6 Lok Sabha seats respectively.
In Chidambaram, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK)’s leader Thol Thirumavalavan, contesting as part of the DMK-led grouping, secured 5,00,229 votes but won only by a margin of about 3,219 votes. The AIADMK which came second got 4,97,010 votes. The AMMK garnered 62,308 votes. If the votes of the AIADMK and the AMMK are combined they surpass that of the winner.
As far as Tiruppur is concerned, CPI senior leader K Subbarayan, fighting as part of the DMK-led alliance, secured 93,368 votes to be followed by Kamal’s MNM (64,657).The AMMK secured 64,657 votes and the NTK got 42,189. Together, the aggregate of the three parties crosses 1.5 lakh votes.
It is to be noted that Kongu region, of which Tiruppur is a part, is an AIADMK bastion. If only the three new parties had not entered the fray, it would have been advantage EPS-OPS combine.
Dharmapuri is another constituency where the three together dented the AIADMK’s prospects. Senthil Kumar of the DMK won the seat garnering 5,74,988 votes. The runner-up Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK-a constituent of the NDA alliance-secured 5,04,235 votes. With the Dhinakaran, Kamal Haasan and Seeman securing 53,655, 64,657 and 42,189 votes respectively, the chances of Anbumani got ruined.
Prior to the Lok Sabha polls, many were of the view that Kamal Haasan would split the DMK vote share. But the numbers proved otherwise.
While the AMMK performed well in Sivagangai, Theni and Virudhunagar constituencies, securing more than 10 per cent of votes, the MNM performed well in urban areas including Chennai North, Chennai South, Chennai Central, and Coimbatore.