DMK, which has been in political wilderness for over a decade, under the screen-play and direction of poll strategist Prashant Kishor, emerged as the single largest combine to stake claim for the Dravidian rule. It is a pyrrhic victory for DMK. Stalin’s long-felt dream of sitting on the citadel of power has come with costs. But his patience, perseverance and his committed cadre base, coordination and accommodation of small allies have paid rich rewards. The DMK’s victory margins are very slender.
The just concluded Assembly elections were fought without the two veterans namely Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. Stalin who had proved his mettle in last Lok Sabha elections by winning 39 of 40 seats focused his attention on the Assembly elections. With this in mind, he engaged PK’s IPAC team for Rs.350 crore contract. Many commented he was wasting money instead he should have given it to the party cadres which would boost their morale. “ DMK never had spent money like this. Stalin is not a fool. He took a gamble and spent more than one thousand crores to achieve his dream come true. Undeterred by hundreds of Memes about his blenders, referring his using bits of paper, making faux pas and gaffes , he moved on his with military zeal. So his immediate priority could be to recover this amount and to make good the loss during the past ten years, said journalist Senthil. He hinted that corruption in tender and other infrastructure projects will be the order of the day. Both the Dravidian majors believed that the freebies announced in the manifesto would convert into votes. They are all women specific incentives. AIADMK traditional vote bank is women only since its inception. Both exploited the Social medial in fullest level. The outgoing CM Edapadi K Palaniswamy’s various populist measures failed to help him to score hattrick . Both DMK and AIADMK promised to delta farmers’ crop loan waiver. AIADMK just before poll schedule was announced, issued waiver certificates. Rs. 12,110 crop loan of Edapadi’s of little help to it. AIADMK gave a tough fight, Low margins in many constituencies showed EPS no pushover. The minorities’ en-mass voted for DMK despite AIADMK’s appeasement measures at the cost of Hindus. The karuppar koottam episode, Hindu phobic speeches of Stalin and its allies Vel yatra of BJP were thought to play a crucial role in making a vibrant Hindu vote bank. But the voters proved otherwise. The DMK , which wedded to anti-Brahmin ideology, had to take the help of Bihari Brahmin to win in the elections. DMK dutifully followed everything from PK team. He followed it in letter and spirit despite some opposition in the initial days in the party. DMK did not allow any of its allies go out of its fold by saying “we should be united to stop BJP and Sangh Parivar from gaining toehold in Tamil Nadu”. DMK, its allies and its controlled media had created an image that BJP and AIADMK are anti -minorities, anti-Tamils. There was no matching such things in other camp”.
TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK and Kamal Hassan’s MNM, Vijaya Kant’s DMDK became a damp squib. AMMK has played a spoilt sport in some constituencies affecting chances of AIADMK. In fact it acted like a “B” team of DMK.
In the just concluded intensely fought elections, DMK has won 133 seats and a majority on its own by polling 37.7 percent of the popular valid vote. This is the party’s second lowest vote share in the three assembly polls it has won since 1996. ( in 2006 it secured 26.5 percent). The AIADMK has secured 74 seats and managed to improve its vote share to 34.24 percent in 2021 as against the 18 percent it received in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. DMK allies have secured 156 seats. In most places the victory margin is very thin.
For PMK it was a do or die battle; it failed to make a mark. PMK’s 10 per cent quota row served little purpose. DMK won 66 of 84 in vanniar belt. After two decades BJP enters Tamil Nadu assembly a four member team with two women. Simple, suave, down to earth MR Gandhi who won from Nagercoil , is a well-known face in the Kanyakumari district. He is an RSS worker and was the district president of Jan Sangh. He became the state secretary of the party in 1975 and was a misa detenue. Former minister Nainar Nagendhran is the Vice President of BJP Tamil Nadu and has won from Tirunelveli constituency. He left the AIADMK in 2017 to join the BJP. He has been earlier elected as MLA from the same constituency in Tirunelveli in 2001 and 2011. Dr. C.K. Saraswathi, elected from Modakurichi is a doctor by profession. She is known for offering free knee surgeries to the poor and needy. Vanathi Srinivasan, the National President of BJP’s Mahila Morcha (women’s wing) emerged victorious defeating Kamal Hassan. In Dharapuram , BJP L Murugan lost by 1,393 votes , former IPS officer Annamalai lost by 24,816 votes. In Annamalai case, the Muslims in Pallupatti who objected his campaigning in their area, voted enmass to DMK candidate. Though women rallied behind Annamalai but on poll day they could have been threatened by local Jamaat not to vote BJP.
If we quote Prashant Kishor , “ wherever demography has changed and the ratio of Hindu and Muslim population is 7:3 or 6:4 then it is very difficult for BJP to win the elections. If BJP wants to win they have to take 50-55 per cent Hindu votes but it is next to impossible because they never vote like Muslims. Muslims know how to vote. That’s why I was very confident about our win”. Of the 27 segments with more than 20 percent minority votes across the state, DMK has won or has maintained comfortable margin. Committed and loyal cadres kept the DMK on track. The Congress and Left, VCK, MDMK all rode the DMK wave. “ still it is a wonder. There is no strong wave in favour of DMK. Nor any anti-incumbency. But the results were surprising. In Vanniar belt, lower end cadres of PMK and AIADMK did not cooperate with each other due to total mistrust.
BJP Played Patient Game
“BJP association is the single most important reason for drawback for AIADMK setback” said AIADMK workers. Despite Edapadi’s big brother attitude, from announcing CM candidate and allotment of seats, BJP was patient in the larger interest of defeating DMK and tried its level best to keep the alliance in good stead. Had BJP been allowed to lead the alliance, DMDK, PT would have find place in the combine helping to win 20-25 sets more. If AIADMK contested without BJP, the loss would be heavy. PMK transferred its votes entirely to AIADMK but they did not reciprocate. Except Kovai South ( due to SP Velumani) , AIADMK cadres did not work for BJP seats. It is the reason for both PMK and BJP would not win more seats. Edapadi K Palaniswamy was over confident without BJP the party could come to power solely on his freebies to all sections. He did not want to BJP set foot strongly in the state which will be detrimental to his growth in the coming days” Omampuliyur Jayaraman.
Amma Canteen vandalised by DMK
Balaji of Nellai said “ people of Tamil Nadu yearned for a change. DMK took advantage of the situation by proper planning with the help of PK who did a very effective digital approach in winning the heart of the people for DMK”. In Papanasam, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader M H Jawahirullah, who contested on DMK symbol, won the seat. One of the accused in Kovai searial blasts, is tipped to act as a pro term speaker of the house. Thankfully, the TN voters have totally rejected the SDPI, Owaisis’s all india Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen in polls. Which is a solace for nationalists.
MK Stalin is scheduled to assume charge on 7th morning. Stalin, who had been calling Edapadi Palanniswamy, “a slave of BJP and pledged the government with the center”, is going to be seen whether he will adopt a cantankerous approach like Mamta, Kejriwal and others ? Or he is going to maintain cordial relations keeping in mind the state’s welfare” Will he implement all the poll promises he made before polls? For that he needs resources. The state is already in red.
Hitherto sitting in opposition benches Stalin was criticizing all actions of government. Issuing statements on daily basis, organizing protests for each and everything. That was what he had been doing all these years while sitting in opposition benches. Now after becoming CM, will he realize how difficult to rule. It is not bed of roses but horns. This will he learn soon.
TN Going the Bengal Way
The worst fear of ordinary Tamilian has come true. Even before the DMK took over the mantle from the AIADMK, the State witnessed incidents of violence unleashed by DMK goons indicating that Tamil Nadu may witness more mayhem in the coming days with its clear cut majority. It is going the West Bengal way where anarchy is in tall order.
AIADMK, BJP and other political parties repeatedly told in all their political campaigns, social media that if DMK wins, then the crime graph in TN will soar. Crimes against women, assault on opposition leaders and its workers, land grabbing, murder for gain and others will become order of the day. Power cut, stifling of Opposition voices including the media will prevail. Attacks on Hindus and Hindu gods by DMK, and its allies will go unchecked.
DMK, which won the popular mandate at the hustings, hasn't got licence to indulge in violence. But its over joyed cadres have taken this massive mandate to unleash violence on people and opposition. On 4 th May, a group of men entered Amma eatery where food is sold at highly subsidised rates) in Mogappair East. Amma Canteen, one of the dream pet scheme of late CM Jayalalithaa was launched in 2013 to serve food to the poor. Really it was a boon to many. it also served free foods at the pandemic lockdown. A group of DMK men vandalised the canteen, provisions, vegetables, cooked food, and tored the name board. In the video , a group of men wearing white shirt and black pants were seen barging into the eatery and bringing out the signboard and damaging it. As the intimidated women workers watched, the gang pulled down the portrait of Jayalalithaa and flung it along with vegetables and provisions.
The cadres objected to the name Amma and wanted it to be as Kalaignar Canteen. DMK manifesto promised that Kalaignar canteen will be set up. After the video went viral in social media, CM elect Stalin ordered restoration of the name board and the portrait of Jayalalithaa at the canteen and sacked two partymen.
After condemnation from public and opposition, police arrested only two ( Navasundar and Surendar ) on charges of trespassing and using obscene words. They were let out immediately on station bail. “JJ Nagar Police made an eyewash. It was a group of more than ten but police claimed to have arrested only two” said opposition.
The outgoing CM Edapadi K Palaniswamy and DY CM O Panneerselvam said violence and political incivility of DMK workers have come to the fore again. They said such welfare facility has been of immense help to people during the crisis like floods, pandemic, while the damage to their leader’s photo has caused anguish.
AMMK leader TTV Dhinkarani in a tweet said the incident was an example that DMK men would never reform. PMK founder S Ramadoss said it is natural for ruling parties to make changes in accordance with their policies. People will not forgive DMK unleashing something which they had apprehended. In another incident , DMK cadres in Namakkal took to the street to celebrate the victory and their leader becoming CM while Wuhan virus pandemic was raging in TN. The cadres burst crackers breaking COVID appropriate protocols.
They lit a cracker in front of a house which was having a pandal ( made up of casuarina sticks and dried woven coconut fronds). On seeing this the owner of the house and warned it may catch fire. Irked by his opposition, the workers beat him in blue. In a video shared by AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathiyan , the owner of the house can be seen with blood dripping from his face. A few ladies ( believed to be his relatives) can be seen taking him away and consoling him. The video shows scenes of strong commotion with the DMK goons wreaking havoc on the streets. Also police can be seeing trying to bring the situation under control. In Karur the DMK cadres started their illegal sand quarrying despite ban. In Nagapattinam district, DMK goons ransacked the Amma Mini Clinic. On the day of counting votes, when higher police officials asked him not gather in large number and burst crackers at the party headquarters. They attacked his vehicle. This happened half way through counting. As usual the media did not bother to take it to the viewers. Because their ‘master’ will be taking over the power soon. It will be going to rain on such media houses and its staff for their role.
Senior journalist Nambi Narayanan said DMK means rowdyism, violence and DMK are inseparable twins. It runs in their blood. In Vasudev Nallur, DMK cadres stopped a BJP man and asked him to remove the towel on his shoulder. When he refused, they tried to remove it forcefully. Like DMK men , he wears towel with BJP borders. What ‘s wrong. That showed their tolerance”.
DMK one day achievements does not end with this two. DMK men attacked the Fisheries Dept. Minister ‘s car, a shop was vandalised in Karur, MLA office was attacked in Kinathukaduvu, AIADMK candidate vehicle was stopped and attacked and son.