Chennai, May 22 (IANS) The results of the by-elections held in two phases in 22 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu will be the focus in the state during Thursday's vote counting, rather than the outcomes of the Lok Sabha elections.
The survival of the ruling AIADMK government depends on its results in the by-elections even as exit polls have predicted the victory for rival DMK-both in Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls.
By-elections for 18 Assembly constituencies were held on April 18, along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state. The bypolls for remaining four seats were held on May 19.
In the 234 member Tamil Nadu Assembly, the ruling AIADMK has 114 members (including the Speaker), the DMK have 88, the Congress 8, while IUML and Independents are one each.
To attain a simple majority, the AIADMK has to win just four seats in the by-elections. In order to be safe against switching of camps by some of the lawmakers, the AIADMK has to win eight or nine seats.
Meanwhile, three AIADMK legislators were issued show cause notices by Speaker P. Dhanapal as the ruling party felt that they were moving towards the T.T.V. Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
However, the Supreme Court has stayed the disqualification proceedings against these three lawmakers.
The DMK (88 legislators), on the other hand, has to win all the 22 seats to take their tally, along with its allies -- Congress (eight) and IUML (one) -- to 119, that is just one number over the simple majority.
DMK President M.K. Stalin has said that the declaration of results on May 23 would usher a change in both the Central government as well as in Tamil Nadu.
The Congress party's H. Vasanthakumar, representing the Nanguneri assembly constituency, is contesting in the Lok Sabha polls from Kanyakumari constituency and it will be interesting to see which seat he would opt to retain in case he wins the Lok Sabha polls.
The electoral fate of 822 candidates for 38 Lok Sabha seats and 406 candidates in the by-elections for 22 assembly seats will be unravelled on Thursday.
The Lok Sabha polls saw four-cornered contests between the two major fronts led by the AIADMK and DMK, respectively, the AMMK floated by independent legislator Dhinakaran and the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) started by actor-politician Kamal Haasan. Both the AMMK and MNM are making their electoral debut.
Prominent personalities in this electoral fray are: Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai (Karur), Union Minister and BJP's Pon Radhakrishnan (Kanniyakumari), H. Vasanthakumar (Congress-Kanniyakumari), Karti P. Chidambaram (Congress-Sivaganga), H. Raja (BJP-Sivaganga), Kanimozhi (DMK-Thoothukudi), Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP-Thoothukudi), T.R. Baalu (DMK-Sriperumbudur), Dayanidhi Maran (DMK-Chennai Central), A. Raja (DMK-Nilgiris) and Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK-Dharmapuri).