MK Stalin-led the DMK-Congress alliance is heading for a big win in Tamil Nadu after 10 years in the first election since the death of AIADMK's J Jayalalitha and DMK's M Karunanidhi, the two legends in the state’s political space.
At the end of the day, DMK had won 51 seats and was leading in 82 seats, the leads/wins well above the halfway mark of 118 in the 234-member assembly. The ruling AIADMK had won 24 seat while it was leading in 45 seats. The supporting actors in Tamil Nadu - Congress for DMK and the BJP for AIADMK - were leading on 12 and 4 seats each.
Actor Kamal Haasan’s party, Makkal Needhi Maiam has scored a nought in the debut assembly election. Haasan too has lost.
The Election Commission is yet to declare winners for all the 234 segments and also complete data on winning margins was not available, till 11 pm, on Sunday.
Stalin, the 68-year old DMK president, who was often referred to as the CM-in-waiting for all these years is all set to take the top post for the first time. "I will be truthful to you, I will work for you, my thoughts and deeds would be for the people of this state," Stalin said, thanking people, his party workers, cadres and leaders of alliance parties.
The dark horse, however, of DMK was Stalin's son and party's youth wing chief Udhayanidhi, who defeated his opponent by a huge margin in his debut election.
The top two AIADMK leaders, outgoing Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy CM, O Panneerselvam romped home from their respective segments of Edappadi (Salem district) and Bodinayakanur (Theni).
In 2016 the AIADMK, led by Jayalalitha, had broken the state's run of picking either party every five years. The then chief minister Jayalalitha had stormed back to power with a thumping majority, but was hospitalised a month later and died on December 5, 2016, of a prolonged illness. For the AIADMK, the death of its matriarch was a major blow and the party broke into multiple factions.
For DMK, the transition was smooth after the death of M Karunanidhi. His son MK Stalin took over the party. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, swept by the BJP across most states, the DMK along with its partners had won 38 out of Tamil Nadu's 39 seats.