What is interesting is that most of the alliance partners of the DMK are working out a new game plan which would see Tamil Nadu entering a new phase of governance in the State.
The hospitalization of DMK President M Karunanidhi early Saturday morning in a critical condition has hastened the process of transfer of power in the party. With the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, where the nonagenarian leader is undergoing treatment, issuing a statement late Tuesday evening saying that the DMK patriarch may need to spend a longer time in hospital in the backdrop of his advanced age, it is sure that the leader is slowly moving towards the sunset spot in the horizon.
The Congress and the VCK see the absence of Karunanidhi as a God-given opportunity to extract maximum seats from the DMK.
The General Council of the DMK is scheduled to meet in Chennai next fortnight to formalize the elevation of M K Stalin as the next party president. It is reported that K Anbazhagan, the general secretary of the party (who is also on the wrong side of 90) may be allowed to breathe his last in office itself, the Anna Arivalayam (DMK headquarters in Mount Road) is getting ready to welcome the new office bearers and usher in a new era in Tamil Nadu politics.
But what is interesting is that most of the alliance partners of the DMK including the Congress are working out a new game plan which if implemented would see Tamil Nadu entering a new phase of governance in the State. The allies too will stake a claim for a share in the government. In the 2006 assembly election, though the DMK ended up with just 95 MLAs, Karunanidhi completed a full term in office with the outside support extended by parties like the Congress, PMK, VCK and Muslim League. The DMK president cocked a snook at the alliance partners whenever they broached the issue of sharing of power. “This is Chennai and Tamil Nadu. Nothing of that sort here. Those who want a share of the power should try it in New Delhi,” Dr Kalaignar told them in no uncertain terms.
Recent developments involving VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, MNM leader Kamal Hassan and some fringe leaders calling on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Sonia Gandhi has given rise to talks about the possibility of a “front within the front”. It may be remembered that Thirumavalavan, leader of a section of the Dalits in the State has kept the channel of communications live with the AIADMK, the BJP, and TTV Dhinakaran. If he fails to get three Lok Sabha seats from the DMK in the 2019 elections, Thirumavalavan is expected to join the party which offers him the best choice. The 2014 Lok Sabha election had seen the VCK cadre burning the effigies of Karunanidhi and Stalin to protest against their refusal to part with two seats. Later, the DMK was forced to dole out one more seat to the VCK though none from the DMK, Congress or VCK could win a single constituency.
The Congress and the VCK see the absence of Karunanidhi as a God-given opportunity to extract maximum seats from the DMK. Same is the case with the Communists, especially in the backdrop of Rajya Sabha member D Raja’s term coming to an end in 2019. For Raja, getting ready to fight for the post of the CPI’s general secretary, it is essential that he should be in the Delhi Durbar as he has to ensure the elevation of his daughter who is a student in the Jawaharlal Nehru University to the national council of the CPI.
In the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Karunanidhi and Kamal Haasan had declared their open support to P Chidambaram for the post of Prime Minister.
The Congress hopes to contest in at least 15 seats out of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu. There are many Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu who remain out of sight and hence out of mind of the people. The general feeling is that the Congress with the support of the alliance partners would win the 2019 Lok Sabha election and one has to be near the centers of power to compensate for the time they lost between 2011 and 2019. The DMK, the Congress, VCK and other fringe elements are all out of power in Tamil Nadu since 2011.
The current situation envisages a 2004 like front in Tamil Nadu led by the DMK. It would have the Congress, the Lefts, the MNM. The VCK, the PMK, the MDMK, the Islamic parties as partners. TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal MunnetraKazhakam too may cast its vote with the DMK, if the kind of statements made by Stalin and the former are any indication. For Stalin, it is a must win situation because another electoral defeat would weaken his hold over the party.
The DMK is toughening its stance vis-à-vis the Congress and other prospective alliance partners after the meeting Rahul Gandhi had with Thirumavalavan and Haasan. When he was asked about his stance on the Congress Party’s move to elevate Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, he said: “Such things could be decided at the time of election and it is still far away”, which have set alarm bells in the Congress leadership. Moreover, in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Karunanidhi and Kamal Haasan had declared their open support to P Chidambaram for the post of Prime Minister.
But a divine intervention in the form of Narendra Modi helped and saved India from such a scenario. In 2019 also, chances are that the DMK would like to see an ever obliging Chidambaram in the chair of the Prime Minister because he is the only one leader in the country capable of distorting, destructing, demolishing and dynamite the legal system to obliterate any kind of charge sheets.
Tamil Nadu is in for a period of comic tragedy.
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