AIADMK sweeps civic bypolls

Chennai, Sep 22: Ruling AIADMK on Monday swept bye-elections to various civic bodies, including two Corporations, with party chief J Jayalalithaa terming the voters' verdict as their 'endorsement' of her more than three-year-old government's performance.

When votes polled in the elections held on September 18 for more than 500 casual vacancies in both urban and rural civic bodies were counted today, AIADMK romped home in most seats. It retained Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and Coimbatore Mayor posts, according to results announced by State Election Commission.

The AIADMK candidate for the Tirunelveli Corporation Mayor post had been elected unopposed earlier after the BJP rival withdrew from the contest. DMK had boycotted the elections while BJP, with support from allies PMK and MDMK, and Left parties faced the contest.BJP levelled allegations against AIADMK including 'intimidation' of its candidates leading to withdrawals.

Extending its winning streak since the May 2011 Assemblyelections, AIADMK secured wins in many civic bodies including municipalities. Many of its candidates had been elected unopposed.

In a thanksgiving message to the voters, Jayalalithaa said that the victory was their endorsement of her government and herself who was working for the sole aim of their welfare.

"I thank voters for further strengthening my hands and endorsing (the party's) good governance," she said.

AIADMK's Mayor candidates for Thoothukudi and Coimbatore,A P R Anthony Gracy and Ganapathi P Rajkumar, secured handsome victories against their nearest BJP and Left rivals.

Former Mayors of Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and Tirunlveli,Sasikala Pushpa and Vijila Sathyananth, had been elected to Rajya Sabha in April this year while former Coimbatore Mayor, S M Velusamy, had quit the post. Incidentally, BJP's candidate for Tirunelvelu Mayor post,G P R Vellaiyammal, had quit the electoral race, allowing AIADMK's E Bhuvaneswari to be elected unopposed.

Vellaiyammal and her husband, also a former state BJP office-bearer, later quit the party and joined AIADMK.


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