Coimbatore: Continuing its winning streak, the ruling AIADMK pulled off the Mayoral bypoll in Coimbatore with a record margin of over 2.91 lakh votes on Monday. If the voters created a record on the polling day with one of the lowest turn-outs, the AIADMK’s triumph etched a record for one of the highest victory margins.
In an election boycotted by the opposition DMK, Congress and more than half of the Coimbatore electorate, the AIADMK candidate, P. Rajkumar defeated his nearest rival R Nandakumar of BJP by a victory margin of 2,91,343 votes. The AIADMK polled 4,20,104 votes as the BJP candidate just managed to secure his deposit, polling 1,28,761 votes. All other candidates in the fray including the CPI (M)’s C. Padmanabhan forfeited their deposit.
P. Rajkumar will take charge as the fifth Mayor of Coimbatore after V Gopalakrishnan, T Malaravan, R Venkatachalam and SM Velusamy. The bypoll was held as former mayor S.M. Velusamy suddenly tendered his resignation after he was stripped of his district secretary post in the ruling AIADMK.
P. Rajkumar, who is the party's Coimbatore urban district secretary and chairman of the North Zone of the Corporation, was handpicked by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for the post of Mayor following the resignation of SM Velusamy. He has nearly completed his doctoral thesis on his party leader and chief minister Jayalalithaa.
Terming his win an endorsement by public of the welfare initiatives of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the new Mayor said that he will strive to implement the Rs 2,378 crore projects announced recently by the CM for Coimbatore.
Mr Rajkumar also said that priority would be given to provide round the clock water supply and reduce traffic congestion by improving the condition of roads, build bridges and bus stands. "I will also work towards strengthening communal harmony," he said.
The AIADMK has increased its vote share tremendously as S.M. Velusamy won the last election by a victory margin of 1.14 lakhs. Right from the first round of counting, the verdict in favour of AIADMK was amply clear. The ruling party kept widening its lead all through the 19 rounds of counting held at the Government College of Technology, amidst tight security.
For this by polls, despite the high decibel campaign by AIADMK and BJP, just 46.53 per cent of votes were registered. Of the total 12,90,652 voters in all the 100 wards, only 6, 00,580 people turned up to exercise their franchise in the bypolls streaked with allegations of cash distribution and clashes between AIADMK and BJP workers.
Location: Tamil Nadu