oppn parties Tamil Nadu: Going The DMK-UPA Way

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
Tamil Nadu: Going The DMK-UPA Way

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-03-24 19:25:29

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.