The counting of the votes balloted in the rural local body polls of Tamil Nadu has been underway since Tuesday morning. The two-phased local body polls were held in the districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Ranipet, Vellore, Thirupathur, Tirunelveli, and Tenkasi on October 6 and October 9. Along with the polls in these districts, the by-poll was held in Coimbatore and votes were counted on Tuesday.
As the results are being unfolded, the parties are bracing up the verdict from the voters and levying a bad piece of news for BJP, a BJP candidate who had contested in the Coimbatore by-poll had ended up securing only one vote and in what has become a big shock, his family members too had rejected him on the ballots. The development had caught major notice across the state and it has stirred trolls on social media with users commenting that the candidate has got the vote in line with BJP's one nation, one party propaganda.
According to reports, the by-poll was held for the post of ward member in Gurudampalayam in the Periyanaickenpalayam union of Coimbatore district. The poll was held on October 9 and the votes were counted on Tuesday. As the election is for the ward member, the candidates had contested independently without the party's symbols but with the backing of the party. The poll had seen a good race with Arulraj (DMK), Vaidhyalingam (ADMK), Karthik (BJP), Ravikumar (DMDK), and several independent candidates had contested in the by-poll. The ward has 1,551 eligible voters and 913 votes were registered.
While DMK's Arulraj had been leading in the by-poll, he was eventually declared the winner by securing 387 votes. Following Arulraj, independent candidate Jayaraj had got 240 votes while ADMK's Vaidhyalingam had ended up getting 196 votes. The electoral officer has announced that BJP's Karthik has secured only one vote while DMDK's Ravikumar had got two votes. Karthik, who is the vice-president of BJP's youth wing in Coimbatore, has contested in 'car' symbol. Karthik's family has six members and apart from him, no one from his family had voted for him.
While this has become bad news for BJP, it has become a talking point for the opposition over how voters are valuing the BJP. Karthik's terrible loss has sparked remarks from the opposition parties including DMK which had said that he could have got more votes had his family members and BJP cadres voted for him. It was a total shock for the saffron camp as the party has won the big legislative seat in Coimbatore in the 2021 assembly polls. Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai had also campaigned in Coimbatore for the local body by-poll.
Annamalai went on to claim that BJP will have a political breakthrough in Tamil Nadu by winning more local body seats and that the party has been receiving more support from the people. He further said that 100 booth agents are enough for him to defeat the DMK in the local body polls. However, the verdict from the people had turned the story upside down by giving a big blow to Annamalai and the BJP. Annamalai was facing a crucial ordeal as the local body polls are the first election that the Tamil Nadu BJP had contested leader Annamalai's leadership.
The results from the polls had dimmed the saffron in the state from one of its strongholds. In the 2021 assembly polls, the western belt, Kongu region, had majorly voted for the ADMK and BJP with DMK not even winning a single assembly seat in Coimbatore. The voters from Coimbatore South had elected BJP's Vanathi Srinivasan as their representative to the assembly. Five months later, the BJP candidate in the same district had lost the votes from his family and the party cadres. After BJP candidate Karthik lost the polls by securing only one vote, the social media users have been sharing the news on various platforms with the hashtag #Single_Vote_BJP.