In addition, the perceived laxity of the DMK in the selection of candidates, there was a recurring allegation from many neighborhoods that local Palacodde cadres had been “bought out”.

By losing to the AIADMK-PMK regroupment in the five constituencies of the Dharmapuri District Assembly, the DMK seems to have lost its past gains in the region. Its current deputies were defeated by the PMK in Pennagaram and Dharmapuri.

If the arithmetic that rested on the AIADMK-PMK’s electoral base worked for the alliance, it appeared that victory was sealed by the Kongu Vellalars, the second largest community in the constituencies of Harur (Reserved), Palacodde and Paapireddipatty). This went against the prediction that this community would tip the scales in favor of DMK, given their resentment that they did not have representation in any constituency under AIADMK and the belief that Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi , the figurative representative of the community had aligned with the DMK.

Kongu Vellalars, which constitutes 15.50% next to Vanniyars (48.30%) in Palacodde; 14.5% third only in Vanniyars (35.1%) and Adidravidars (23.1%) in Paapireddipatty and constitute 22.70% right next to Adidravidars (23.40%) in Harur (R) instead rest their confidence in the figure of Kongu Vellalar of AIADMK. [outgoing] Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

In addition, the laxity perceived by the DMK in the choice of candidates, there was a recurring allegation from many quarters that the local cadres of Palacodde (contested by outgoing Minister KPAnbalagan) were “bought off”.

Within the DMK, there was resentment over the re-appointment of the two MPs PNP Inbasekaran (Pennagaram) and P. Subramani (Dharmapuri). Both were district party secretaries with a “wet” record.

The DMK profited from the lessons of Lok Sabha’s election which won them their young MP Lok Sabha Senthil Kumar, a rookie, beating long-standing PMK candidate Anbumani Ramadoss just two years ago. For example, in the Pennagaram assembly segment, the DMK deputy candidate dragged only 200 votes, despite the PMK-AIADMK arithmetic disadvantage in the Pennagaram assembly segment.

Therefore, Pennagaram was “winnable”, sources insist. But Mr. Inbasekaran was shot by his overconfidence, some in the party say. If Mr. Inbasekaran played the “foreigner” card on PMK candidate GKMani, he was himself a “non-resident” living in Bangalore. It was only months before the elections that he moved not to Pennagaram but to Dharmapuri, sources said.

Likewise, in Dharmapuri, Mr. Subramani was seen as failing to meet the challenge necessary for a victory against a fully invested ruling coalition, which resulted in a victory for the PMK with an overwhelming majority of 26,840 votes.

There were organizational gaps at the district level, even in 2019, when it lost polling stations in Harur and Paapireddipatty. Yet that has not been resolved, observers say. There is also a perception of an attributable transfer of Vanniyar votes from DMK to PMK and AIADMK. The stinging question, however, was the relevance of the 10.5% quota for Vanniyars for the win, if that did not adequately impact the outcome in the rest of the PMK strongholds in northern Tamil Nadu. The western Vanniars supported the party.

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