After sitting in the opposition for ten years, the DMK under MK Stalin is set to return to power in Tamil Nadu. The DMK alliance was leading in over 150 out of the 234 Assembly seats as of 8.30pm on Sunday, and is set to unseat the AIADMK combine, which is leading in 81 constituencies. The DMK alliance’s victory ensures that ‘Stalin thaan vararu’, and he will become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time. Although the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu was a multi-cornered contest, the main battle continued to be between the two Dravidian majors — the DMK and the AIADMK. Kamal Haasan’s MNM is at the time of publishing leading in one seat - the Coimbatore South seat, where the actor is in a close fight with his BJP rival Vanathi Srinivasan. The AMMK-DMDK alliance and Seeman’s NTK, however, came a cropper, drawing a blank. The DMK, which had contested in 173 seats, is leading in at least 128 seats (including parties which stood on the rising sun symbol). Several of DMK’s heavyweights including party President MK Stalin (Kolathur), KN Nehru (Trichy West), MRK Panneerselvam (Kurinjipadi) among others set to retain their seats. DMK Youth Wing Secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is the son of the party chief, also emerged successful in his electoral debut from Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni. The party’s alliance partner Congress, which had contested in 25 seats, is leading in 16 seats, VCK in 4 and the CPI and CPI(M) in 2 constituencies each. The AIADMK, which had won 135 seats in 2016, was leading in just 72 seats as of 8.30pm. However, the results are not a complete loss of face for Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami given that exit polls had predicted a sweep for the DMK alliance. Considered a do-or-die battle for EPS, he won his Edappadi constituency by a huge margin and could very well stave off a leadership coup in the AIADMK. Deputy CM O Panneerselvam was leading from his Bodinayakanur constituency, however, by a thin margin. Several AIADMK Ministers including Mafoi Pandiarajan (Avadi), Jayakumar (Royapuram), MR Vijayabhaskar (Karur) were trailing at the time of publishing. As far as its alliance partners are concerned, the BJP, which had contested in 20 seats, was leading in three seats. Out of the 23 seats the PMK contested, it was leading in five constituencies.