A likely consolidation of voters from non-Mukkulathor communities in the Kovilpatti Assembly constituency may have helped AIADMK’s Kadambur C. Raju defeat AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran.
The head of AMMK had traveled to Kovilpatti in the south in hopes of creating a surprise, much like he had done in Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar’s constituency of Chennai in a poll in 2017 Its supporters at the time claimed it would be an easy victory for the party as a post. – delimitation, the constituency of Kovilpatti had a large percentage of voters from the community of Mukkulathor to which Mr. Dhinakaran belongs. Some political analysts had also seen this as a wise move on the grounds that if he wins big, in a post-election scenario a weakened AIADMK might turn to him for direction. “Since we (AMMK) have a strong presence everywhere, I came to Kovilpatti from RK Nagar,” Dhinakaran explained. He toured extensively across Tamil Nadu for elections while only devoting a few days to prospecting in the Kovilpatti Assembly segment as he was confident of a good show.
Moreover, the AMMK candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Thoothukudi, N. Bhuvaneswaran, had garnered more than 19,000 votes in the segment of the Kovilpatti assembly alone. The president of the Kayathar union and the organizing secretary of the AMMK’s southern region, SVSP Manickaraja, who allegedly convinced Mr. Dhinakaran to choose Kovilpatti, also hoped for a victory. The AMMK predicted that the imprisonment of Mr. Dhinakaran VK Sasikala’s aunt in the disproportionate assets case and his recent release could arouse the sympathy of voters in his community. But their trust in the caste factor turned against them. Voters from other communities are believed to have favored the ingenious Mr. Raju.
Political analyst Surya Xavier said a leader who should have identified himself as a representative of all sections of society should not have come to Kovilpatti in an attempt to gain support from a particular caste . “While the AMMK hoped to gain enthusiastic support from voters in the community of Thevar, other voters in the community strongly supported Mr. Raju, which made his victory easier than previously thought. He beat Mr. Dhinakaran by a margin of over 12,000 votes. In addition, the linguistic minorities living in Kovilpatti did not want them to be represented by a person of different identity. It all culminated in the election of Mr. Raju, ”he said.
However, Mr. Dhinakaran had never publicly identified himself as a representative of the community of Mukkulathor. In fact, he was one of the first leaders of a dominant community to crown the statue of “Tyagi” Immanuel Sekaran, a Dalit ruler.