S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @infodeaofficial
Election scenario has picked up heat across India and Tamilnadu is no exception. It is not only parliamentary election that will be held this time, bypolls for 18 assembly constituencies are also going to be conducted in this southern state.
So for political parties here, they have got to focus on winning parliamentary elections and also gaining an upper hand in the assembly elections. Winning in parliamentary elections may give them a stake in forming the government at centre, victory in the byelections will determine who is likely to stay in power in Tamilnadu.
The bypolls are being held for 18 seats as the MLAs of these constituencies were disqualified when they voiced their support for rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran in the past.
Tamilnadu holds 39 parliamentary seats, party winning major number of seats here will be the one likely to have a power to decide who could form the government at the centre.
As it happened in the past during the tenure of UPA government at the centre, MPs from Tamilnadu saved the day for them by providing the required support. Similar situation happened when Atal Bihari Vajpayi was the Prime Minister. MPs from Tamilnadu saved the day for his government when a crucial ally moved out. Also, the support from the MPs coming from the state could help the government at the centre in passing various bills.
The present government at the centre, NDA is said to have passed certain bills in the parliament with the support obtained from MPs from Tamilnadu.
Senior journalist and political analyst from Chennai Ramanathan Krishnan feels it all depends on the number of seats won by major establishments, BJP and Congress at the centre. With no parties winning an absolute numbers in the centre, MPs coming from a state like Tamilnadu could play a vital role when it comes to point of who is to form the government at the centre.
Three groups of parties are contesting the polls in the forthcoming general elections in this southern state. While one comprises the ruling AIADMK that is allied with BJP, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMDK), Puthiya Tamilagam (PT), Tamil Manila Congress (TMC) and Puthiya Needhi Katchi.
The second group comprises the another major party of Tamilnadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) that has tiedup with Indian National Congress (INC), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.
The third group comprises the major player Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam whose alliance partners are Social Democractic Party of India, Makkal Needhi Maiam, Republican Party of India and Naam Thamizhar Katchi. While AIADMK and its group has become a part of NDA, DMK and its group are a part of UPA. Ramanathan Krishnan feels demise of former Chief Ministers of Tamilnadu J Jayalalithaa (AIADMK) and M Karunanidhi (DMK) left a political vacuum in Tamilnadu.
They had a magnanimous image, no one could rise to the occasion to fill the gap left by them post their demise. Post death of popular leaders, many have come forward to prove their mettle on the political arena of the state. Cine actor Kamal Hassan is an apt example in this regard. His party Makkal Needhi Maiam is contesting in 37 seats.
They were a huge support to their parties, their charisma did most of the work and ensured victories on many occasions. While there are lot of parties in the poll fray this time, contest is seen happening between the two major parties of the state, AIADMK and DMK, these two have always had a lion’s presence in the state since the days of their inception. The support base for AIADMK and DMK is vast, it is not the case with other parties in Tamilnadu. No significant presence of national parties (Congress and BJP) have only added to the strength of two major parties of Tamilnadu, says Ramanathan.
The trust AIADMK and DMK have among the people of Tamilnadu is much greater when it comes to handling the state administration. No wonder, major share of the votes should be for them this time too. Other parties may be getting a minor stake. The two major parties of this southern state will be contesting the polls in the absence of their super charismatic leaders. Absence of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi may be a setback for both AIADMK and DMK. Where in the past the magic exerted by charismatic appeal of these gaint leaders got votes, this time both parties may not have that advantage.
Prospects seem better for DMK this time as they have a strong leader in form of M K Stalin. An able administrator and a leader of masses is seen him. Needless to say, that is the advantage AIADMK does not have that advantage. The leadership in form of Edappadi Palanisamy (EPS), the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam (OPS) does not stay in high esteem among the public. Their lack of charisma is another issue. The clash between EPS and OPS has made news in the past, though they have united lateron and formed the government in Tamilnadu, people are skeptical about as to how long they could stay united.
This has casted a doubt as to their ability to stay in power and handle administration. Measures like demonetization, farming related issues, no employment generation have generated enough discontent on UPA in Tamilnadu, with AIADMK being a part of NDA, the discontent with regards to these issues may pass on to AIADMK and their allies. These issues may better chances of DMK and its allies in winning higher number of votes. Problems of the past like 2G scam in particular, lack of leadership in their ally (Congress) can turn into a disadvantage for DMK.