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|October 9, 1999||
DMK's Balu is the soundest winner in Tamil Nadu
T R Balu, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate re-elected from South Madras, has the highest margin of victory in Tamil Nadu while T T V Dinakaran, the nephew of All India Anna DMK chief J Jayalalitha's close crony Sasikala, emerged at the top of his front.
Incidentally, Balu is the only candidate to win by over 200,000 votes (he managed a margin of 240,184) in the state. In the last election, C P Radhakrishnan of the Bharatiya Janata Party, elected from Coimbatore in the backdrop of the serial bomb blasts, had the highest margin: 144,676 votes. This time, his margin has come down to 54,077 votes.
In the AIADMK-led front, despite the "smear campaign" on his alleged involvement in a case and rumours that his election would be set aside resulting in a by-election, Dinakaran, contesting from Periyakulam, won handsomely, by 45,806 votes. No other AIADMK candidate could manage a margin of over 40,000.
Congress candidate Mani Shankar Aiyar, elected from Mayiladuthurai, was the only other candidate in the AIADMK-led front to cross the 40,000-mark.
The AIADMK's S Murugesan was a lucky winner. He scraped through with a slender margin of 887 votes in Tenkasi. The loser was the BJP nominee.
Other AIADMK candidates who recorded victories with low margins are M Chinnasamy (2,847 votes) and K Malaisamy (6,646).
In the DMK-led National Democratic Alliance, except for Marumalarchi DMK general secretary Vaiko, re-elected from Sivakasi with a margin of 73,953 votes, all other nominees could win only with a margin of less than 10,000 votes. The margin was just 4,556 votes for senior party leader S Kannappan in Tiruchengode.
Two Pattali Makkal Katchi candidates, however, registered impressive victories. In Chidambaram, where violence broke out after the polling, PMK general secretary E Ponnuswamy got elected by 119,563 votes. And in Vandvasi, the victory margin of N Durai was 59,197 votes.
However, it was just 12,811 votes in Chengalpattu for A K Murhty and 25,685 in Vellore for N T Shanmugam.
The ruling DMK has once again proved that Madras is its bastion. Besides Balu, party idealogue Murasoli Maran (Central Madras) won by 136,949 votes and C Kuppusamy (North Madras) by 159,789 votes.
The overall percentage of votes secured by the major political parties follows: DMK 47.65, AIADMK 43.04, PMK 46.98, MDMK 45.46, BJP 46.49, Congress 38.75, CPI-M 39.29, CPI 44.61, MGR ADMK 51.46, TMC 10.21 and Puthiya Tamizhagam 8.36.
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