November 22, 2016
Thanjavur: In a multi-cornered contest, AIADMK retained the Thanjavur assembly seat, touted to be a DMK forte, with its candidate M Rengasamy, who is also the sitting MLA, defeating his nearest rival and DMK candidate Dr Anjugam Boopathy by a comfortable margin of 26,874 votes.
There were 14 candidates in the fray. At the end of the 20 rounds, Rengasamy secured 1,01,362 votes and Anjugam Boopathy polled 74,488 votes out of the total 1,86,444 votes while all other candidates forfeited their deposit. However, the BJP candidate M S Ramalingam came third polling 3,806 votes while the much expected DMDK candidate V Abdullah Sait polled just 1,534 votes and had to be content with fourth place.
Rengasamy maintained his lead over his rival and DMK candidate right from the first round till the 19th round. At the 20thround, for the first time Dr Anjugam Boopathy polled 233 votes more than her rival Rengasamy.
Much to the surprise of all, a total of 2,295 voters had opted for NOTA. This is much higher than what had been polled by DMDK candidate Abdullah Sait.
Rengasamy was first elected from this constituency in the 2011 assembly elections. Then he had wrested the seat from the DMK by defeating the DMK candidate and the then minister S N M Ubayadullah by a margin of 7,329 votes. It was a prestigious win for the AIADMK as Ubayadullah had won from Thanjavur constituency four times in the past.
Thanjavur constituency is touted to be a DMK forte as the party has won eight times since 1962 while the AIADMK has won here just twice (1991 and 2011). AIADMK wrested the Thanjavur assembly seat from the DMK for the first time in 1991 when its candidate S D Somasundaram defeated DMK candidate S N M Ubayadullah by a margin of 19,861 votes.
The May 16 assembly polls to Thanjavur constituency was countermanded by the election commission on charges of cash distribution and other malpractices indulged by the two Dravidian parties.