AIADMK hands out ignominious defeat to DMK in Yercaud

Continuing its winning streak, the ruling AIADMK today retained the Yercaud (ST) Assembly constituency, with party nominee P Saroja romping home with a massive margin of 78,116 votes against her DMK rival V Maran.

Saroja, widow of AIADMK legislator C Perumal, whose death necessitated the bye-election, secured 1,42,771 votes, leaving Maran far behind with 64,655 votes.

As many as 4,431 voters opted for None of the Above

(NOTA), introduced in the state for the first time in this

bypoll.

AIADMK supporters plunged into celebrations mid-way

through the counting by bursting crackers and distributing

sweets after Saroja started leading from the very first round.

In a record turnout, 89.24 per cent of over 2.40 lakh

voters had excercised their franchise on December 4.

Since coming to power in 2011 after dethroning arch rival

DMK, this is the ruling party's fourth electoral triumph in

bypolls held so far, earlier winning Tiruchirappally (West),

Sankarankoil (SC) and Puthukottai.

Gloom descended on the DMK camp in the wake of it's

dismal performance in the election despite the fact that it

had left no stone unturned to upset AIADMK's winning run.

Senior leaders and DMK chief M Karunanidhi's children--M

K Stalin and Kanimozhi-- had vigorously campaigned for Maran but their efforts failed to deliver results.

AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa

described the win as an "acknowledgement and recognition" of her government's pro-people policies.

"The voters of Yercaud have acknowledged and recognised

that the fruits of the two and a half years of AIADMK

government's welfare schemes have reached the people," a

visibly elated Jayalalithaa, surrounded by beaming party

supporters who thronged her Poes Garden residence here, said.

When reporters sought Jayalalithaa's response over the

trends of the counting in the four northern states, including

in Delhi, she quipped "allow us to enjoy our victory. I will

... contd.

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