oppn parties Tamil Nadu: Going The DMK-UPA Way

News Snippets

  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
oppn parties
Tamil Nadu: Going The DMK-UPA Way

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu will be interesting this year. With no Jayalalitha or Karunanidhi around this time, both the AIADMK and the DMK will miss their crowd-pulling abilities and connect with the people. Neither party has any leader who can even come close to the departed titans. But, as it is said, the show must go on. Both the parties have aligned with the two main national alliances – the AIADMK with the NDA and the DMK with the UPA. But as things stand, while Karunanidhi had groomed Stalin as his heir apparent and he can now claim the legacy, the larger than life Jayalalitha had left a vaccum. Sasikala tried to fill it but she is now in jail. TTV Dhinakaran is also trying to claim the legacy, causing problems for Chief Minister EK Palaniswami and company. Although almost all smaller parties have joined one or the other major alliances, actor Kamal Hasan’s new party might snare some voters due to star power.

The AIADMK will be on the back foot in these elections mainly because of anti-incumbency and a public perception that its house is not in order. The prolonged and very public spat between Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam did no good to the party’s image. Then, Dhinakaran carved out a faction and successfully contested by-elections from RK Nagar, the seat represented by Jayalalitha. The influence of Sasikala, even from prison, cannot be ruled out and will be a thorn in the side of the chief minister and his deputy. The alliance with the NDA is also not going to help as the people of the state are not much enamoured with the BJP and Modi’s charisma does not work magic in the state. With 18 by-elections to assembly seats also being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, the very existence of the Palaniswami government is at stake.

The DMK, on the other hand, is free from any baggage this time. The corruption charges against its leaders A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and Karunanidhi’s daughter M Kanimozhi also fell flat when they were acquitted in 2017. The party will campaign with a clean slate and highlight the shortcomings of the AIADMK government and fan the people’s anger against the Modi government at Centre over issues such as NEET and demonetization. The Times Now-VMR poll gives the DMK-UPA 34 seats out of the total 39. That is very close to the ground reality. It remains to be seen whether Modi can work his magic and turn the tables.