As someone who has keen interest in politics right from my childhood days, if I did not have a post on the recent state elections in TamilNadu it would be so wrong on me. So here are my analysis and opinion:
First of all, hats off to the people who for the first time elected a minority government to the state. Also a strong opposition in the assembly means that whenever the opposition wants to talk something, they won’t be removed (i.e. thrown out) from the assembly. Also it will be interesting to note what strategy that Jayalalithaa follows whether she is going to follow Karunanidhi’s footsteps of zero attendance in the assembly or she is going to be a constructive opposition leader. Let us wait and see.
Since there was no visible wave this time around, small factors in each and every district played a major role. Vijayakanth was a major factor who reduced the victory margin in lots of constituencies with his 8% vote share. Except for the vote from his fans, other votes are from people, who are angry with the inability of both the Dravidian to think constructively and long-term future of the State. What that means is the votes are not transferable to any of the Dravidian parties if his party aligns with them next time around. But his victory in Viruthalacham is commendable since he contested in one of the bastions of the PMK. His party would have got more votes if they had been able to get good people (i.e. people who can and will spend lots of money in elections) to stand for elections. Especially in my constituency, Palayamkottai just looking at the face of the contestant, I changed my decision from voting DMDK to DMK.
Another factor for the strong showing of the DMK in the southern districts is the Karthick factor. The Tamil actor who recently took leadership of the State unit of All India Forward Block (AIFB) stole a lot of votes from the traditional ADMK vote bank (Thevar community) especially from the rural villages. On the other side, the other Tamil actor Sarath Kumar who jumped at the last hour from DMK to ADMK for purely personal reasons, made sure that traditional DMK stronghold Tuticorn district shifted hands to the ADMK fold. He too was able to swing young people from the rural villages of the Nadar community to ADMK.
Voters voting on the basis of caste are causing a lot of shame to Tamil Nadu politics. Is there any way to counter this in our Indian politics? Added to this, Cine actors and actresses who are not even educated holding sway over the Tamilnadu politics is a curse to the State. But the Lok Parithan the party started by IITians polling more than 34,000 votes in 7 constituencies offers hope to me that someday educated people of the next generation won’t shy away from the politics. They have taken the bull by its horns. Hope that they don't allow this hope to die in people’s hearts. If they have contested in my constituency whether I will vote is totally different matter (We will keep that explanation for some other post).
The factor which worked largely in the favor of the DMK was its coalition arithmetic. It benefited largely from the Congress strong pockets as seen in KanyaKumari District. The myth that the PMK commands the Vanniyar community in the northern districts was broken this time around as seen by the poor showing by the PMK whose conversion ratio of the seats contested to seats won was poor compared to its alliance partners. Also the most of the seats for the opposition party, ADMK came from these areas.
The biggest surprise was the fact that Chennai which was a DMK stronghold whichever side the wave may be favored Jayalalithaa to Karunanidhi. Her changed action in the last two years was a major factor in the reversals. If this has been done in the whole of the five years, she would have been invincible in the elections. The factors that lead to her downfall was the fact that 80.000 government employee families voted against her. Their happiness can be seen from the heroic welcome they gave to Karunanidhi while he entered the Secretariat, a thing unheard in the history of TamilNadu.
Will this government last the whole five years?. Mostly ‘yes’ according to my opinion. But let us wait and see. Just remember, “In politics there are no permanent friends or foes”.