For DMK-backed Congress candidate of the Erode East bypoll, EVKS Elangovan (74), it's a new political game as he is close to hit the jackpot in the bypoll with a humongous lead against the ADMK's contender. The new political game for Elangovan is to replace his deceased son Thirumahan Everaa as the Erode East MLA and to resume where he had left off.
Elangovan's candidacy came as a surprise to him as, being a former Union Minister and MP, he was vying to contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and was trying to nominate his another son to replace Everaa, who died on January 4 at the age of 46 due to cardiac arrest. However, the Congress eventually picked Elangovan as its candidate and being a veteran politician, it would be the first time that Elangovan would enter the Tamil Nadu assembly in three decades as he had served as Gobichettipalayam MLA from 1984 to 1989.
The voting for the Erode East bypoll was held on Monday - February 27 and though there were over 70 candidates on the ballot, the clash was between DMK-backed Congress candidate Elangovan and ADMK's Thennarasu. In a constituency that has over 2,26,000 voters, more than 1.7 lakh voters had cast their franchise and the bypoll had recorded a voter turnout of 74.79%, which is the highest in the constituency since the 2011 assembly elections.
The counting of votes began on Thursday - March 2 and since the beginning, Elangovan has taken the lead and his numbers soared in a fashion that certainly confirmed his victory. In each round, Elangovan's graph has been surging while the opposition ADMK was left in a baffle over retaining its deposit. At the end of the third round, Elangovan was leading with over 15,000 votes more than his immediate contender, ADMK's Thennarasu.
In the fourth round counting, Elangovan took a massive lead with difference of 21,310 votes. At the end of the sixth round, the Congress candidate had secured over 46,000 votes and took a lead by 29,402 votes. After the sixth round, the final result was in sight that Elangovan would triumph the race while the ADMK's camp was deserted. As Elangovan took a humongous lead, ADMK candidate Thennarasu left the counting centre.
While speaking to reporters, Thennarasu said that the money has won today and the democracy has no value. At the end of seventh round, Elangovan has bagged 53,548 votes, nearly 34,000 votes more than the ADMK candidate. Elangovan's graph was peaking and he has been getting close to breach the 80,000-mark. Earlier, Elangovan has secured 76,834 votes while ADMK ended up getting 28,637 votes.
The tally displays a margin of nearly 50,000 votes and as Elangovan's victory was confirmed, the Congress and allied party leaders have been extending their wishes to him. Elangovan said, "The credit for the victory goes to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. The DMK government has fulfilled its election promises and this victory is a recognition of that. The results show people's love for secular coalition." Hundreds of cadres have gathered before DMK's head office in Chennai to celebrate Elangovan's victory.
Addressing the reporters in the party's office, Chief Minister MK Stalin said, "People have given big support to Dravidian model and taught Edappadi Palaniswami yet another big lesson. This by-poll will act as an anchor for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. I thank all of them who voted for us. We will continue to strive for the victory." Acknowledging the result, Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai said, "I bow my head and accept the verdict of the people in the Erode east by-poll. 2024 Lok Sabha elections are for BJP, not bypolls."
As ADMK's has secured over 28,000 vote mark, the party has retained its deposit after a struggle as it was in a verge of collapse. By the time of writing this content, Elangovan has secured 83,528 votes while ADMK has got 32,360. Elangovan has been conferred with over 50,000 votes than Thennarasu and the cadres of the ruling party have been organizing celebrations and distributing sweets to the people. On the other hand, Seeman's Naam Tamilar Katchi has bagged 5,666 votes and Vijayakanth's DMDK has got 836 votes.