1991 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election
The tenth legislative assembly election of Tamil Nadu was held on 24 June 1991. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) – Indian National Congress (INC) alliance won the elections in a landslide and AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa became the chief minister. This was her first term in office. The united strength of AIADMK (after the merger of Jayalalithaa and Janaki Ramachandran factions into a single party), the alliance with the Congress, and the wave of public sympathy in the wake of Rajiv Gandhi assassination combined to produce a massive victory for the AIADMK.
All 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
118 seats needed for a majority
1991 election map (by constituencies)
On 30 January 1991, the DMK government which had come to power after winning the 1989 assembly election, was dismissed by the Indian Prime minister Chandra Shekhar using Article 356 of the Indian Constitution. President's rule was imposed on Tamil Nadu from 31 January. The reason cited for the dismissal was the deterioration of law and order in the state. The dismissal followed pressure on the Chandra Shekhar government by the Congress and AIADMK to dismiss the DMK government. The Chandra Shekhar government fell on March 1991 after the Congress withdrew its outside support. Fresh elections for both the Indian parliament and Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly were scheduled for June 1991.
Unification of AIADMKEdit
The AIADMK which had contested and lost the 1989 elections as two different factions reunited under the leadership of Jayalalithaa in February 1989. The Janaki Ramachandran faction merged with the Jayalalithaa faction to form a single united party and Janaki retired from politics. The reunited party regained the popular "Two Leaves" symbol of the AIADMK. (The Election Commission of India had frozen the symbol for the 1989 elections due to the split). The united AIADMK was able to prove its strength immediately by winning the elections held for two constituencies -Marungapuri and Madurai East on 11 March 1989. (for these two constituencies elections had been postponed earlier due to technical reasons).The AIADMK then allied with the Congress for the 1989 Parliamentary elections. The AIADMK-Congress alliance won 38 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in that election routing the DMK-Janata Dal led National Front.
Formation of PMKEdit
The 1991 elections was the first state elections contested by the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a labour class based party. S. Ramadoss, the leader of the Vanniyar caste organisation which demanded proportional reservation in education and employment based on population ratio of each community – the Vanniyar Sangam converted into a political party and entered electoral politics with the 1989 parliamentary elections. The emergence of PMK cut into the DMK's political base in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu.
Formation of TMKEdit
In 1991, the Thayaga Marumalarchi Kazhagam (TMK) was formed by the actor-politician Vijaya T. Rajendar after he split from the DMK. Later, some of the second rung leaders of the ADMK including Su. Thirunavukkarasar, K. K. S. S. R. Ramachandran, S. D. Ugamchand, V. Karuppasamy Pandian split from the party. For the 1991 elections they formed a pact with T. Rajendar and contested as TMK candidates.
Assassination of Rajiv GandhiEdit
On 21 May 1991, leader of the Indian National Congress and its prime ministerial candidate for the 1991 general elections was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber. The assassination took place at a campaign meeting at Sriperumpudur where he was campaigning for the Congress candidate Maragatham Chandrasekar.
The two main political formations in this election were the DMK and AIADMK led fronts. The DMK coalition comprised the Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), Janata Dal (JD) and Thayaga Marumalarchi Kazhagam (TMK). The AIADMK front had only two major parties – itself and the Congress. The AIADMK also backed the ICS (SCS) candidate Sanjay Ramasamy in the Virudhunagar constituency. Several smaller parties like the PMK contested the elections alone.
|1.||All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||J. Jayalalithaa||168|
|2.||Indian National Congress||P V Narasimha Rao||65|
|3.||Indian Congress (Socialist)||Sarat Chandra Sinha||1|
|1.||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||M. Karunanidhi||176|
|2.||Communist Party of India (Marxist)||Nallasivam||22|
|3.||Janata Dal||Sivaji Ganesan||15|
|4.||Thayaga Marumalarchi Kazhagam||Vijaya T. Rajendar||11|
|5.||Communist Party of India||P.Manickam||10|
Voting and resultsEdit
Results by Pre-Poll AllianceEdit
|Alliance/Party||Seats won||Change||Popular Vote||Vote %||Adj. %‡|
†: ICS(SCS) contested in 13 different constituencies, but only the one contested by Sanjay Ramaswamy was endorsed by AIADMK.
‡: Vote % reflects the percentage of votes the party received compared to the entire electorate that voted in this election. Adjusted (Adj.) Vote %, reflects the % of votes the party received per constituency that they contested.
Constituency wise resultsEdit
The AIADMK coalition won a massive victory in this election capturing 225 of 234 seats. The DMK coalition was routed with only 7 victories. DMK itself could win only 2 seats including that of its leader M. Karunanidhi. Though Karunanidhi won from the Harbour constituency, he resigned his seat immediately. The victory of AIADMK-Congress has been attributed mainly to the sympathy wave following the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. Other factors which helped their victory were the consolidation of the AIADMK votes under the unified AIADMK party, successful projection by Jayalalithaa as the true political heir to M. G. Ramachandran (M.G.R), successful portrayal of DMK as anti-woman (by playing up the events in the Assembly on 25 March 1989) and the PMK cutting into the DMK's vote bank in the northern districts. This election saw the first electoral success of the PMK, when its candidate Panruti Ramachandran was elected from the Panruti constituency.
V. R. Nedunchezhiyan became the finance minister in J. Jayalalithaa's first Cabinet.
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