Skip to content


Tamil Nadu (TN) Election 2016 The 234 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu will go to polls in 2016 as the tenure of the current government ends on 22 May. The DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) – the current ruling party in the state – are old rivals who have monopolised the contest for gaining majority in the assembly after every five years.
BJP, despite its drubbing in Bihar elections, is throwing all its weight to make a breakthrough in this southern state. The party has been vocal about its plan of creating a 'social creation' and a 'binding force' by bringing together diverse caste groups whose demands have not been met by the DMK and AIADMK governments.
During the last assembly elections in 2011, the state had witnessed 78 % voting. While the AIADMK won 150 seats, its rival, DMK was reduced to a non-issue with just 23 seats. The CPI and INC won 10 and five seats respectively. According to political experts, Jayalalitha might find herself on back foot following the complete failure of the state machinery to tackle the crisis that emerged because of Chennai floods. The chief minister's brand image, as media suggest, could “take a severe beating”.
Some optimism has been displayed by the members of PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) who expect the party to throw surprise as a third alternative for the people of Tamil Nadu who don't want to align either with the DMK or the AIADMK. 


What Do the Opinion Polls Say?

Elections to the 234 constituencies of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly will be conducted in May, 2016. If history is anything to go by, the assembly elections will be a battle between the two local heavyweights, AIADMK and DMK. Other smaller parties like DMDK and PMK may grow in importance in the final stages of the elections as both the DMK and AIADMK fight it out to cross the majority mark. However, much seems to depend on the undecided voter this time. It is this two or three per cent of votes that will be key to the final outcome of the 2016 assembly elections.

The AIADMK had an unarguable upper hand until November and December 2015 when the heavy rains and floods exposed its government's inefficiency. But the opposition DMK, which was busy resolving conflict within its own party, could hardly benefit from this situation. According to few opinion polls, the AIADMK has still got a slight edge over the DMK with BJP emerging as a strong third contender.

Parties and Alliances

With Tamil Nadu going to elections in the summer of 2016, all major political contenders I the fray have begun preparations. DMK, the main opposition party, has announced that it will fight the elections together with the Congress. After splitting over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue a couple of years back, the two have come together once again for the upcoming elections. Ruling party AIADMK has allied with smaller regional parties and given up seven of the 234 seats for them to contest. Vijaykanth's DMDK has forged alliance with the People's Welfare Front (PWF).

About Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections

The state was renamed Tamil Nadu in August 1968 and the strength of its Legislative Assembly became 234.

The Indian National Congress (INC) was the prominent party in the early years of independence. Justice Party headed by Periyar E V Ramasamy was one of the earliest regional parties in the state. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), founded in 1949 by C N Annadurai , himself a former Justice Party member, came to power for the first time in 1967. The other main political party of the state, the AIADMK, was founded in 1972 by Dr M G Ramachandran, on leaving the DMK. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIDMK) led by M G Ramachandran formed the first state government in 1977. M G R remained in power as the CM for ten years till his death in 1987. DMK, currently headed by M Karunanidhi came to power in 1989. Since then each party has formed the government alternately. Currently Jayaram Jayalalitha of the AIADMK is the Chief Minister. M Karrunanidhi of the DMK has been the Chief Minister of the state five times.

In General Election to the Lok Sabha in 2009 DMK in alliance with INC and VKC won 27 out of 39 seats. DMK is part of the United Progressive Alliance with INC. AIADMK contested the 2009 elections as part of a Third Front with CPI and CPI (M).

Some of the prominent politicians of the state have been Shri G K Moopanar, former AICC General Secretary, Shri K Kamaraj and J Jayalalithaa former Chief Minister of the state.

Political Parties in Tamil Nadu

The main state and regional parties are:
  • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)
  • Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK)
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
  • Dravidar Kazhagam or Dravida Kazhagam (DK)
  • Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)
  • Manithaneya Makkal Katchi
  • Puthiya Tamilagam
  • Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi
The main national parties in the state are:
  • Indian National congress (INC)
  • Bharatiya Janata party (BJP)
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))
  • Communist Party of India (CPI)