Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, 1977

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Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, 1977
← 1971 June 10, 1977 1980 →

All 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party
  Flag of AIADMK.svg Flag DMK.svg
Leader M. G. Ramachandran M. Karunanidhi
Alliance ADMK+ N/A
Leader's seat Aruppukottai Anna Nagar
Seats won 144 48
Seat change Increase142 Decrease136
Popular vote 5,734,692 4,258,771
Percentage 33.52% 24.89%
Swing n/a Decrease23.69%

  Third party Fourth party
  Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg Janata Party Logo (1).svg
Leader G. K. Moopanar P. Ramachandran
Party INC Janata Party
Alliance INC+ N/A
Leader's seat did not contest did not contest
Seats won 32 10
Seat change Increase24 Increase10
Popular vote 3,491,390 2,851,884
Percentage 20.40% 16.67%
Swing n/a n/a

1977 tamil nadu legislative election map.png
1977 election map (by constituencies)

Chief Minister before election

President's rule

Chief Minister

M. G. Ramachandran

The sixth legislative assembly election of Tamil Nadu was held on June 10, 1977. Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) won the election defeating its rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). M. G. Ramachandran (MGR), the ADMK founder and a leading Tamil film actor, was sworn in as Chief Minister for the first time. The election was a four cornered contest between the ADMK, DMK, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Janata Party. Earlier in 1972, MGR had founded the ADMK following his explulsion from the DMK after differences arose between him and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi. On 31 January 1976, Karunanidhi's government was dismissed by the central government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi citing corruption charges against Karunanidhi and President's rule was imposed on the state. Karunanidhi had been at odds with Indira Gandhi over his opposition to Emergency and allied with Janata Party founded by Jayaprakash Narayan. Meanwhile, MGR had developed a close relationship with Indira and supported the Emergency. MGR remained as Chief Minister until his death in 1987, winning the next two elections held in 1980 and 1984.


Split in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[edit]

DMK gradually weakened in the years after the previous election due to several splits caused by the exit of many influential leaders including MGR. The popularity of the party was further undermined by widespread corruption allegations. Cracks began to appear in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam before 1971 election. K. A. Mathiazhagan was removed from office of the minister of Finance as he was considered a serious threat to Karunanidhi's leadership. Sathyavani Muthu, an influential dalit leader left the party in 1972 citing lack of concern for dalit issues within the party and formed Thazhthapattor Munnetra Kazhagam. MGR was expelled on October 10, 1972, in a disciplinary action for his attacks against party leadership for alleged corruption and dictatorial behaviour. He formed a new party Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. ADMK won the Dindigul by-election held in 1973.[1] V. R. Nedunchezhiyan along with some senior party leaders left Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in March 1977 to form Makkal Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.[2]


Emergency, which was declared in June 1975 had a mixed reception in Tamil Nadu. Jayaprakash Narayan's opposition movement did not receive much support in Tamil Nadu due to his association with the DMK government, which had its own trouble due to accusations of corruption. K. Kamaraj did not come in support of Jayaprakash Narayan due to his association with DMK despite the fact he disapproved of Indira Gandhi's actions. DMK executive council called the Emergency unnecessary and undemocratic on June 27 and party leaders condemned it in several statewide meetings. Emergency regulations and censorship were not strictly enforced in Tamil Nadu unlike in other states. Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Communist Party of India continued to support Indira Gandhi. M. G. Ramachandran even visited Delhi to extend his support to Indira Gandhi. It was under these circumstances Karunanidhi's government was dismissed by the Government of India on January 31, 1976.[1]

Death of Kamaraj and Rajaji[edit]

Kamaraj, leader of Indian National Congress (Organisation), who remarked in 1972, "Randu Katchigalum Orey Kuttaiyil Oorina Mattaigal (both parties, the DMK and the AIADMK, are like fronds dipped in the same bog or tarred by the same brush)."[3] died in 1975. Indian National Congress (Indira) faction could not establish a foothold in Tamil Nadu until his death. After his death, Indian National Congress (Organisation) lost its identity as a party, and a large number of its members led by G. K. Moopanar merged with Indira Congress.[4] The remaining chose not to join with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, but rather joined the Janata Party and later remained largely uncommitted.[5] Swatantra Party lost much of its power after the death of C. Rajagopalachari in 1972 and did not contest the election. Most of its members joined the Janata Party.[6]


This election was a four cornered contest. The ADMK allied itself with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), while INC(I) and Communist Party of India (CPI) contested as allies. The DMK and Janata Party (JNP) contested the elections alone. The ADMK did not field any candidate in the Usilampatti Constituency in support of the Forward Bloc leader P.K. Mookiah Thevar. Similarly the ADMK also supported the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate M. Abdul Latheef in the Vaniyambadi Constituency. In the parliamentary elections that occurred just three months prior to this elections, there had been two major alliances – the ADMK led ADMK-INC-CPI coalition and the DMK led DMK-NCO-JNP-CPM coalition. But in the months that followed the parliamentary election, these coalitions fell apart.[7]

Seat allotments[edit]


Party Election Symbol Leader Seats
1. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M. Karunanidhi 230

AIADMK Front[edit]

Party Election Symbol Leader Seats
1. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M.G. Ramachandran 200
2. Communist Party of India (Marxist) G. Ramakrishnan 20
3. All India Forward Bloc P.K. Mookiah Thevar 1
Unregistered party, whose candidate ran as an independent
4. Indian Union Muslim League Khader Mohideen 1

†: Forward Bloc contested in 6 different constituencies, but only the Usilampatti constituency contested by P.K.M. Thevar was supported by ADMK

Congress Front[edit]

Party Election Symbol Leader Seats
1. Indian National Congress G.K. Moopanar 198
2. Communist Party of India Tha. Pandian 32

Janata Party[edit]

Party Election Symbol Leader Seats
1. Janata Party P. Ramachandran 233

Voting and results[edit]

Polling for the election was held on 10 June 1977. Turnout among the elibile voters was 61.58%.

Results by Pre-Poll Alliance[edit]

Election map of results based on parties. Colours are based on the results table on the left
e • d Summary of the 1977 June Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election results
Sources: Election Commission of India [8]
Alliance/Party Seats won Change Popular Vote Vote % Adj. %
AIADMK+ alliance 144 +142 5,734,692 33.5%
ADK 130 +130 5,194,876 30.4% 35.4%
CPI(M) 12 +12 477,835 2.8% 33.0%
FBL 1 35,361 0.2% 62.0%
IND 1 26,620 0.2% 42.9%
DMK 48 -136 4,258,771 24.9%
DMK 48 -136 4,258,771 24.9% 25.3%
Congress alliance 32 +24 3,491,490 20.4%
INC 27 +27 2,994,535 17.5% 20.8%
CPI 5 -3 496,955 2.9% 20.4%
Others 11 -30 3,623,193 21.2%
JNP 10 +10 2,851,884 16.7% 16.8%
IND 1 751,712 4.4%
Total 234 17,108,146 100%

: 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 results[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Duncan Forrester (1976). "Factions and Filmstars: Tamil Nadu Politics since 1971". Asian Survey. 16 (3): 283–296. doi:10.1525/as.1976.16.3.01p01703. JSTOR 2643545. 
  2. ^ G.G. Mirchandani. 320 Million Judges. Abhinav publications. pp. 124–126. ISBN 8170170613. 
  3. ^ Curious story of Congress-DMK ties
  4. ^ "G.K. Moopanar passes away". The Hindu. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Atul Kohli (1990). Democracy and discontent: India's growing crisis of governability. Cambridge University Press. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0521396921. 
  6. ^ Ramakrishnan, T. (25 December 2007). "Remembering a phenomenon". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Moment of Truth for MGR". Economic and Political Weekly. Economic and Political Weekly. 15 (4): 141–142. 26 January 1980. JSTOR 4368350. 
  8. ^ ECI: 1977 Election Statistical Report

External links[edit]