Living up to its tag of being the 'spoiler', actor politician Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam yet again proved to be the nemesis of both Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led fronts in Lok Sabha polls, splitting votes decisively in a number of seats, making the difference between victory and defeat for either fronts.
The party of the 'Captain', as the actor is known among his fans, has not come anywhere near winning even a single seat in all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies it contested, but turned out to be the thorn for losing candidates, particularly those of the AIADMK, cutting into their vote share in many seats.
It appeared to be a virtual repeat of the 2006 assembly elections for the AIADMK, as the DMDK had made considerable dent into its vote banks, helping the rival candidates to register easy victories in three-way ties.
The DMDK had then won only one seat (Vijayakanth emerging victor) while contesting 234 assembly constituencies, but secured nearly eight per cent vote share.
In this election too, the party appeared to have taken the bulk of the anti-incumbency votes, which usually go to the AIADMK front. Nine of the DMDK candidates secured more than one lakh votes each in constituencies such as Kancheepuram, Dharmapuri, Arani, Kallakurichi, Dindigul and Virudhunagar, where Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 's Vaiko lost by just 15,754 votes.
The Congress was also a major sufferer as the DMDK polled more votes than the defeat margins of union minister Manishnkar Aiyar and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K V Thankgabalu.
The winning margin of the AIADMK in nine constituencies was less. In Virudhunagar, AIADMK's ally and founder of the pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Vaiko, lost to Manik Tagore of the Congress, which made a failed attempt to rope in the actor-politician in its DMK-led front ahead of elections. Interestingly, DMDK secured more than 70,000 votes each in 13 constituencies.
More than 90,000 voters favoured the party in four constituencies. DMDK polled the highest votes in Kallakurichi, where Vijayakant's brother-in-law and party's senior functionary L K Sudhish secured more than 1.32 lakh votes. K P Thangavel polled 38,824 votes in Pollachi, DMDK's lowest in state.
AIADMK won the Pollachi seat. Of the nearly 2.9 crore votes polled, the DMDK secured more than 30 lakh votes, about 10 per cent, bettering its 2006 assembly elections performance.