The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has fought back to win 23 seats in the recently concluded general elections. Along with its allies, the DMK managed to win 37 seats out of the 38 which went for polls in Tamil Nadu. The elections for Vellore Lok Sabha constituency was deferred by the Election Commission for excessive use of money. The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIDMK) was restricted to a lone seat while DMK allies won the remaining seats. In the last LS polls in 2014, the AIADMK had 37 members.
RAINBOW ALLIANCE FAVOURED THE DMK
The victory of the DMK is attributed to the double anti-incumbency factor, but the credit also goes to M K Stalin who took over the reins of the party after the DMK patriarch and the former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi passed away. The grand alliance he forged with the Congress, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Communist Party of India (CPI), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and few other regional outfits played a major role in achieving the victory. The DMK secured 32.76% of the vote share and the allies together secured around 52%. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got around 32% votes including the 18.48% votes garnered by the AIADMK. The BJP was restricted to a paltry 3.66% votes.
The DMK leader received praise for the manner in which the seats were allotted to the allies resulting in the successful coordination of the opposition parties. In 2004, the DMK alliance had swept all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry with a similar alliance under M Karunanidhi. The present performance is almost a repeat of the 2004 performance when the AIADMK was ruling the state and was facing severe anti-incumbency.
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DMK stands firm against BJP
The DMK has made it clear that the party will have no truck with the BJP and it won’t endorse the politics of hatred carried out by them. The DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said, “Our party MPs have performed well in the Rajya Sabha in the recent years. They have brought private member bills on certain issues which are of huge importance. We have raised our voice against the anti-people policies of the union government. With our strength being high in the Lok Sabha we will fight for the rights of the people of Tamil Nadu who have given us a resounding victory.”
AIADMK’s meek surrender to BJP spoiled the prospects
The last five years have seen a lot of protests in the state on many issues. The AIADMK’s withering after the demise of Jayalalitha and the split inflicted first by the now Deputy Chief Minister O Paneer Selvam, followed by TTV Dhinakaran, led to chaos in the party and the government. The AIADMK is still depending on the ruling BJP for its survival and has been reduced to a puppet at the hands of the union government.
The majority of the projects opposed by Jayalalitha were implemented by the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government without an iota of opposition. The AIADMK had been surrendering to the orders of the BJP on many policy issues including the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET), Hydrocarbon Project, Chennai-Salem Green Corridor Project and Sagarmala Project to cite a few.
The anger against the state and union governments reached its peak when the police firing killed thirteen anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi. The stand taken by the leaders of both BJP and AIADMK were criticised severely by political parties and human rights organisations alike. A social activist Mugilan who exposed the role of senior police officers in the cadre of Deputy Inspector General of Police has been missing for over a hundred days now.
Also read: Elections 2019: BJP Stand on NEET Draws Flak in Tamil Nadu
The DMK and its allies were continuously fighting against the anti-people measures of both state and union governments. The rampant corruption and poor administration added to the advantage of the DMK alliance.
DMK’s Dismal Performance in 2014
The victory of DMK is emphatic considering that it was washed out in the 2014 general elections. The party returned empty handed from the 34 seats it contested. The campaign of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha projecting that the fight is between the Lady (referring to herself) and Modi went well among the voters and the DMK bore the brunt as a result. The DMK managed to get 26.8% while the AIADMK got 44.3% of the polled votes. The National Democratic Alliance as a third front even managed to win two seats, one by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kanyakumari and the other by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Dharmapuri. The DMK was even pushed to third and fourth positions in a total of eight seats.
The DMK fought the elections without any major alliance partners. The Congress fought separately while the two left parties, CPI(M) and CPI fought together. The results were seen as a severe setback to the DMK in the aftermath of the killings of Tamil people in Srilanka at the end of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eezham (LTTE).
The state of Tamil Nadu has been suffering in the last five years by the policies and attitude of the BJP government and the newly elected members will have their duty cut out in resisting the attacks of the union government.
Also read: DMK Won the Battle, Will It Win the War?