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Tamil Nadu: A different bowl of sambhar for various reasons

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 8 2019 11:58AM
Tamil Nadu: A different bowl of sambhar for various reasons
By S.R. Ramanujan Virtually, the state has become the battleground between two Dravidian parties - DMK and AIADMK Chennai, Apr 08 (HS): Tamil Nadu, which goes to polls on 18th of this month to send 39 MPs to the Lok Sabha, is a different bowl of sambhar for various reasons. Since 1967, when Congress was booted out of the state at the height of anti Hindi agitation, the party is bereft of either cadre or leaders. Virtually, the state has become the battleground between two Dravidian parties which ruled the roost and rampant corruption being the hallmark of both the DMK and AIADMK regime. DMK patriarch Muthuvel Karunanidhi government had to be ousted on the basis of Sarkaria Commission report which very sarcastically said that Karunanidhi is a master of “scientific” corruption. AIADMK strong woman had to be in and out of jail on corruption charges and even as she remained interned in the famous Marina beach, she was found guilty of corruption by the Supreme Court and her soulmate Sasikala is cooling her heals in a Bangalore jail. Well, now both these tall leaders – tall in all respects including corruption - have disappeared from the political scene of this most dynamic state of the South. Now, the state has no political leader worth counting in any party and Congress being the worst hit. It has always aligned with either of the Dravidian parties and never contested on its own because it had no legs to stand in the state. P Chidambaram, despite his trade mark lungi was never accepted as a leader from Tamil Nadu and the alleged corruption charges against him and his globe-trotting son, has further alienated him from the masses. Dravidian movement in the state never allowed any other party to grow in Tamil Nadu and leaders like Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa never allowed even a grass to grow under their feet, not to speak of second line leadership. Their failure is quite visible today as the poll campaign is peaking. It is MK’s son MK Stalin who has so far not proved his mettle in politics is running the campaign after striking an alliance with the Congress, Communist parties, Muslim League and assorted parties. The fact that he allotted 10 seats for an on existent party like Congress speaks volumes about his political acumen. Hailing from Dravidian movement which survived only on its hatred for Hinduism, especially the upper castes, in a state which is perceived to be quite conservative with all its glorious temples, he began his campaign with an astonishing statement for any politician – he said that he would never seek Hindu votes even if he had to lose the elections. He abused marriage rituals of Hindus as barbaric and disgusting. Where did he say this? He waxed eloquent while participating in a Muslim marriage. When this boomeranged and when he realized the utter foolishness of his statement, he took a U-turn and said that his party was not against Hindus. To his bad luck, even as he was taking a back foot, one of the mentors of Dravidian movement, K Veeramani, compared Lord Krishna with the first stalker of women in the world. This resulted in huge outrage against the party. This outrage reflects in the outcome of opinion polls. A couple of months ago, all the opinion polls were giving all 39 seats plus one in Puducherry to DMK alliance. This has gradually decreased and now pollsters are saying it is not a cake-walk for the DMK alliance. True, AIADMK has no inspiring leadership nor track record of good governance. But the politically unwise statements of Stalin hurting Hindu sentiment – Congress is nowhere to be seen in the battle ground except for Rahul’s occasional forays –and the aggressive campaign of BJP seems to be helping the AIADMK to achieve a reasonable tally rather than a complete rout. Constituencies to be watched are Thoothukudi where MK’s daughter Kanimozhi is pitted against BJP state chief Tamizisai Soundarajan, Sivaganga where PC’s son Karti Chidambaram is contesting against H Raja, a senior leader of the state BJP. Though there are assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, Tamil Nadu stands on a different footing. There are bypolls in 18 assembly seats simultaneously, and the results will determine the future of E Palaniswamy’s government. The nuisance factor here is the presence of TTV Dinakaran, nephew of incarcerated Sasikala, who wants to settle scores with the present government for allegedly betraying his aunt. He has sacks and sacks of money to spend, source being anybody’s guess. These 18 seats fell vacant because of the incumbents switching loyalty and defying whip in the Assembly. These 18 MLAs were disqualified by the High Court and hence the by-polls. So, the outcome on May 23, will determine the survival of the present Palanisamy government while deciding the fate of Stalin whose stakes are high to hold his fort in the Dravidian party in the absence of his father. Hindusthan Samachar/Ramanujan/Shri Ram Shaw
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