oppn parties Tamil Nadu: Going The DMK-UPA Way

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.