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|0330 hours, March 3, 1998|
AIADMK-BJP wins 16 out of 22 seats in TN
The opposition AIADMK-BJP front in Tamil Nadu has won 16 out of 22 seats for which results have been declared so far, leaving just six seats for the DMK-TMC combine, in a dramatic reversal of the 1996 poll verdict.
The AIADMK-led front was leading in 15 of the 17 constituencies for which trends were available. The AIADMK's allies, the MDMK and the PMK, have fared impressively, winning two seats each so far. MDMK general secretary Vaiko won from Sivakasi by a huge margin of 130,000 votes.
The BJP opened its account in Tamil Nadu with former Union minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, who switched over to the party from the Congress on the eve of the elections, wresting Tiruchirapalli from four-time winner L Adaikalaraj of the TMC.
However, BJP all-India vice-president Jana Krishnamurthy lost to Union minister T R Balu in the prestigious south Madras constituency by 20,000 votes.
Apart from Balu, Union ministers P Chidambaram and Murasoli Maran romped home in Sivaganga and Madras central for the DMK-TMC combine, which suffered heavy reverses in several constituencies.
The other TMC candidate to win was N Dennis at Nagercoil. The party's heavyweight and Union minister Dhanushkodi Adithyan lost to film star Ramarajan at Tiruchendur. Union ministers P Arunachalam and S R Balasubramaniam are also trailing in Tenkasi and Nilgiris.
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy won the Madurai seat with support from the AIADMK.
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