Jayalalithaa breaks 32-year old jinx: AIADMK retains Tamil Nadu

The visuals of a long queue of people greeting J Jayalalithaa with floral bouquets defined the day for Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The AIADMK supremo created history as she was the first chief minister to get a second consecutive mandate in Tamil Nadu since 1984.

Outside Jayalalithaa's home in Poes Garden in Chennai, there were scenes of jubilation as people waved AIADMK flags and held up portraits of "Amma."

In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK proved most exit polls wrong as it appeared on course to retaining power. With the party's victory, Jayalalithaa is now poised to become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the sixth time.

The AIADMK was set to grab 126 of the 234 seats, leaving the DMK-Congress combine with 102 seats, but far more than what it won in 2011. Almost all other parties were wiped out. Most exit polls had predicted that the AIADMK would be unseated.

Results for eight constituencies in Tamil Nadu were declared with AIADMK bagging seven and DMK one seat.

File photo of Jayalalithaa. PTI

File photo of Jayalalithaa. PTI

Senior DMK leaders including former chief minister M Karunanidhi, his son MK Stalin, E Velu and Duraimurugan led in their assembly constituencies on Thursday.

Speaking to the media, a calm but visibly happy Jayalalithaa said, "We are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu for giving us a tremendous victory. I have no other interest in life except working for the people of Tamil Nadu. I thank the people of Tamil Nadu for continuing to repose their faith and trust in me and I find that there aren't enough words in the dictionary to express my words of gratitude. I intend to show my gratitude through my actions."

"This election has upheld true democracy shattering to pieces the campaign of lies of DMK. This election has put a permanent full stop to the family rule," the AIADMK supremo said in a statement as her party forged ahead in the  counting of votes polled in the 16 May Assembly elections. In the run up to the polls, she had appealed to the people to vote against the family rule of DMK and support her party to nurture democracy."

Earlier in the day, party leaders were seen shouting it was victory for "Amma's good governance".

Vowing to fulfil all her electoral promises, 68-year old Jayalalithaa said she would work hard to make Tamil Nadu, the numero uno state in the country.

Thanking her party workers, and functionaries of alliance parties, she lauded them for working hard for the victory.

But Chennai, battered by floods in December, dumped the AIADMK. Its candidates trailed in 12 of the 16 constituencies. Jayalalithaa, however, was set to win from Radhakrishnan Nagar in the city.

The elections were also a disappointment for the alternative front which had been formed to challenge the hegemony of the AIADMK and the DMK. The front's CM candidate Vijayakanth could not secure a win even in his own constituency in Ullundurpet.

The drubbing that the alternative front received in Tamil Nadu will be a major setback for leaders like Vijayakanth, Vaiko and GK Vasan, who promised a "wave of change" in the southern state this election

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 19, 2016 15:52:36 IST

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