The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) shocked everyone by winning nine Assembly constituencies out of the 22 constituencies which went for by polls in Tamil Nadu. Even though the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam almost swept the Lok Sabha elections, it could not repeat the same in the Assembly by-elections. This meant that the DMK’s hopes of forming the government has taken a jolt.
CURIOUS CASE OF AIADMK’s VICTORY
The tale of AIADMK’s victory in the by-elections gives an interesting read into the voting pattern in the concluded elections. All the nine Assembly constituencies won by the AIADMK fall under the Lok Sabha constituencies won by the DMK and its allies. But the AIADMK failed to win the two Assembly constituencies falling under Theni Lok Sabha constituency in which its candidate O P Raveendranath Kumar, who is the son of Deputy Chief Minister O Panner Selvam (OPS), tasted the only victory for the party in the state.
Andipatti and Periakulam which falls under the Theni Lok Sabha constituency are the strongholds of AIADMK and considered prestigious seats by the party. The Andipatti constituency was represented by the late Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK leaders M G Ramachandran (in 1984) and J Jayalalitha (in 2002 and 2006). The Periakulam constituency was represented by the Deputy Chief Minister OPS himself (in 2001 and 2006). The loss of AIADMK in these two constituencies is seen as a severe setback to the party in the region.
Also read: DMK-led Alliance in Tamil Nadu Hoping for a Clean Sweep
THREAT TO AIADMK GOVERNMENT STILL EXISTS
The AIADMK cannot rest on its laurels since the threat for the government has still not been eliminated completely. The notice served by the Speaker to three Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) has been stayed by the Supreme Court on a litigation filed by the opposition DMK, citing the pending no confidence motion against the Speaker.
The no confidence motion may get defeated in the House considering the present strength of the ruling AIADMK. In the event of the defeat of the no confidence motion, the Speaker may disqualify three more MLAs who had shifted loyalties to TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). This will favour the AIADMK to remain in power till the next by-elections.
The AMMK, in spite of the poor performance in the elections, is still threatening the AIADMK. The AMMK camp continuously claims that more MLAs are ready to join their camp. To substantiate their claim another MLA, N D Venkatachalam resigned his party post and is expected to join the rebel camp soon.
AMMK, MNM AND NTK FARE POORLY IN BY-ELECTIONS
Actor Kamal Hasan led Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) and the director-turned-politician Seeman-led Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) fared poorly in the by-elections. The MNM secured 2.79% votes while the NTK managed to secure 3.15% votes. But the two parties managed to secure good number of votes in the Lok Sabha seats they contested. The MNM fared well in the urban areas while the NTK obtained more votes in the rural areas. The AMMK managed to secure 7.77% votes in spite of losing in all the 22 seats it contested.
Also read: Elections 2019: May 23 Will Determine the Fate of AIADMK Rule in Tamil Nadu
BJP VICTORY A BLESSING FOR AIADMK
With their senior ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning the mandate for next five years, the AIADMK should be breathing easy. The stand of Election Commission (EC) in the past has also favoured the AIADMK in deferring the by-elections for months. The EC had postponed the by-elections when the Meteorological department issued a red alert for heavy rains. Also the local body elections are yet to be conducted which are due since 2016. The EC had attracted severe criticism for the way the whole episode of by-elections and local body elections have been handled in the state.
The victory of BJP in the centre has almost ensured the continuance of AIADMK government with the EC being driven by the wishes of the union government. The BJP’s thumping victory has ensured that the constitutional institutions including the EC will be dancing to the tunes of the government. The DMK, however, needs to wait a bit more longer to capture power.