The Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu was a very interesting one this time, with the stalwarts from both the major parties not available, there was a big curiousity regarding the outcome of the assembly elections in 2021. With the corona epidemic that appeared to have subsided the elections were called with the polling date on 6th Apr 2021.
In regard to Mettupalayam, it would be the fourth term if Mr.O.K.Chinnaraj was given the ticket in Mettupalayam. However, with the Ex-MLA (2001) and minister Mr.A.K.Selvaraj completing his Raj Sabha MP term in 2020 was chosen as he was popular amongst the cadres and people. The two ADMK leaders in Mettupalayam had decided amongst themselves that Mr.A.K.Selvaraj would be the chosen candidate.
In regard to the DMK Candidate, the past candidates Mr.B.Arunkumar who contested in this seat in 1991,1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 and Mr.S.Surendran who contested in 2016 did not appear to be the shortlist as the Mr.T.R.Shanmugasundaram (TRS) who was a traditional congress member joined the Vasan Camp when Mr.G.K.Vasan quit the congress to form the Tamil Manila Congress. TRS contested in the two palm trees symbol and was able to emerge as the third candidate in 2016 and this time he moved to the DMK in Nov 2016 and had been pushing his candidature in these elections. With other contenders such as Mr.Kalyanasundaram and Mr.C.R.Ramachandran were not favoured with the IPAC team who had shortlisted TRS as the DMK candidate for Mettupalayam. This decision was taken as it was popularly believed that DMK would sweep the assembly elections in the state.
The total candidates contesting from this seat had fallen to 10 from 17 since the last elections. There were 5 parties and 5 independents contesting this seat in 2021. The new entrant Makkal Neethi Maiyam didn’t contest this seat eventhough this seat is part of Coimbatore district, which they considered to be a place where the party fancied winning a seat. Naam Tamilaar Katchi (NMK) secured 0.72% of the votes polled in this seat in 2016 and it had improved it to 4.87% in 2021. This increase is believed to have led to the fall in the DMK vote bank in 2021. Another important factor was the AMMK led by Mr.Dinakaran had taken about 0.83% of the vote polled (1864) in Mettupalayam. With the polarisation that had happened led to the Minority vote bank consolidating in favour of DMK, however NMK was able to split a fair share of the vote bank which otherwise is believed to have voted for the DMK. Finally, with about 30 rounds of voting, where there were some rounds when the DMK had won with their hands down, it was a relief when ADMK won with a margin of 2456 votes in the end.
The independent candidates managed to secure just 1252 votes (0.55%) in all with NOTA bagging 2733 votes (1.21%). The large vote percentages (>1%) was shared between just three parties (ADMK, DMK, and NMK). The poll survey predictions done by many agencies finally proved to be favour the DMK, though the speeches by the Niligiri MP Mr.A.Raja on the CM Mr.E.Palanisamy’s late mother, Dindigul Leoni’s speech about the women and also Mr.Dayanathi Maran were trending in social media that appeared to be have some impact on the voting preferences in the Kongu region. However the DMK leadership had quickly diffused situation with curbs on the leaders help rein in the damage that it had caused. The DMK Alliance parties such as the VCK had also had their fair share of loose talk which wa again curbed by the DMK leadership. With 10 years of ADMK rule an anti-incumbency factor had set in, and also the alliance that ADMK had with BJP was not viewed by some people as secular and hence led them to not vote for ADMK.
The polling percentage in Mettupalayam was 75.82% as opposed to the state average of 72.81%.
Data Source : Election Commission of India
Some of the important work done in the last 10 years (2011 – 2021)
- Establishment of the Government Arts College at Kuttaiyur, Mettupalayam
- Commencement of the Avinashi – Athikadavu scheme
- Completion of the railway flyover at Karamadai
- Four Laning of the NH from Jothipuram to Mettupalayam