The recently concluded Lok Sabha elections saw a triumph of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu. Their massive victory in 37 of the 38 seats (including 14 seats won by allies) is being hailed as the most brutal blow – maybe the only one – to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies. The saffron party failed in pocketing even one of the five seats it contested from, in Tamil Nadu, allying with the ruling party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The only seat that the DMK could not win is Theni, where Ravindranath Kumar of AIADMK, son of deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, secured a win.
However, despite its massive victory, the way forward will not be free of thorns for the party. The fund allocation by the Centre and approval of projects for the state is expected to be a struggle for them.
“...the state may suffer a bit when it comes to central scheme fund allocations. Many urban schemes also necessarily require the assistance of the central government,” C Lakshmanan, associate professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, wrote in Livemint. He also observed: “[T]here should not be any serious problem in terms of centre-state relations at least till 2012. The BJP will be compelled to take along its alliance partner (AIADMK).”
AIADMK, on the other hand, may have to prove its reliability to the Centre and BJP for the next two years. The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) party, which was formed in the aftermath of a split in AIADMK, acts as a Damocles’ sword for the state government. Even though it has failed in making its mark in both the parliamentary and Assembly elections, AMMK is still a decisive factor in the state politics.
Majority of the DMK candidates have performed really well in the elections. The margin of victory indicates consolidation of votes against the state government and the Centre alike.
The Congress has secured a win in nine seats including the Union Territory of Puducherry, while the Left has won four seats with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India winning two seats each. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and IUML have got one seat each.
The defeat of Anbumani Ramadoss of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), who represents the Vanniyar caste, is an indicator that the caste politics is not exactly a factor for the electorate. The religion card played by the BJP has also not worked. The urban and rural electorate stood with the Dravidian politics alike.
The votes gained by Makkal Neethi Maiyyam (MNM), a party led by actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan is also playing a significant role. The party stood third in 12 constituencies, in its debut election. Majority of the votes gained by MNM are from urban constituencies, which speaks about the inclination of the urban youth in the current political spectrum.
DMK and the allies, on the other hand, are in for a long battle to keep the South Indian state an impregnable fort for the saffron party.
Also read: Aligning With BJP Hurt AIADMK, We Must Introspect: AIADMK leader