TTV Dhinakaran loses in Kovilpatti by a margin of 12241 votes

TTV Dhinakaran loses in Kovilpatti by a margin of 12241 votes
In what could be a fatal blow to his political future, AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran lost from Kovilpatti constituency in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu by a margin of 12,241 votes. TTV was defeated by AIADMK’s Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur C Raju who was the sitting MLA, winning from Kovilpatti for the third consecutive time. In third place was CPI(M)’s K Srinivasan who represented the DMK-led alliance polled 36,234. Kovilpatti used to be a CPI(M) stronghold with the party having won the seat seven times. The voter turnout in the constituency was 71.79%. Kovilpatti is one of the oldest Assembly segments in Tamil Nadu and has been in the spotlight this time after TTV Dhinakaran announced that he will be contesting from there. Since 2016, the constituency has been an AIADMK bastion with Raju winning in 2011 with a margin of 70,000 votes. He scraped through in 2016, defeating DMK’s A Subramanian by 428 votes. Dhinakaran’s choice of changing his constituency from RK Nagar from where he won and entered the Tamil Nadu assembly for the first time in 2017 had taken many by surprise. AMMK’s good performance in the region’s local body election was cited as a prime reason. But he faced the tag of being an outsider in the constituency while the AIADMK and CPI(M)’s candidates had worked in the constituency for long. Raju fought the election with his past records and during the campaign had said that Kovilpatti having been ranked number one among 124 municipalities in the state in terms of basic amenities shows his capabilities as its MLA. His supporters have been speaking about improvement of government hospitals and roads as a reason to vote for him. Srinivasan has worked closely with the trade unions in the constituency for over 40 years and has associated himself with several movements. He had worked with matchstick factory workers and had supported their demand for better pay and working conditions. He had also lent his support to auto-drivers associations in their demand for better roads. TTV Dhinakaran who was a new-comer to Kovilpatti has been a member of the Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha from AIADMK. He has served as AIADMK’s treasurer under Jayalalithaa. After his ouster from the AIADMK, he contested as an independent candidate in the R.K Nagar by-election where he defeated AIADMK's Madhusudhanan. With this defeat and his party AMMK not opening their account in the 2021 Assembly polls, both his and the party’s future is in question. AIADMK not getting completely routed will further add to AMMK’s woes.

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