Over the last four decades, the two major regional parties, the AIADMK and the DMK are ruling Tamil Nadu politics. AIADMK won a whopping 37 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and BJP led NDA won 2 seats. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the two national parties, the BJP and the Congress will also play this big game in Tamil Nadu. The alliances and seat-sharing arrangements in Tamil Nadu for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have more or less been sealed by the major political players in the last few days.
The AIADMK, the ruling party in the state, has struck an alliance with the BJP and PMK, with the two parties getting five and seven seats respectively. Challenging the AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance is the DMK-Congress front. The Congress has agreed to contest from nine seats in Tamil Nadu and one seat in Puducherry. The DMK could contest in roughly 20 seats and the remaining may go to allies such as MDMK, VCK and the Left parties.
AIADMK was able to pull Paatali Makkal Katchi (PMK) led by Dr. Ramadoss to its alliance by accepting to share seven Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha seats. AIADMK also got the PMK’s backing for the 21 assembly seats where by-elections are to be held. Political analysts consider this to be a smart move by EPS-OPS.
Smart move by EPS-OPS. Conceding an extra RS seat to PMK in return for getting their support for the 21 Assembly seats in the by elections. The 7th seat may be Pondy so out of the 39 seats in TN PMK will be contesting 6 seats as expected. #AIADMK #PMK
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) February 19, 2019
Harur, Pappireddipatti, Gudiyattam, Sholingur, Ambur, Hosur and Thiruporur. In at least these 7 Assembly seats PMK can play a decisive hand to help AIADMK in the by elections to 21 seats. The first 6 are in the heart of PMK territory. That's why I said smart move by EPS-OPS.
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) February 19, 2019
The result of these by-elections could determine the future of the AIADMK government led by Edapadi K Palaniswamy and with six seats out of the 21 being in the heart of PMK territory where the party could help decide the winner.
While AIADMK got the backing of PMK in both Lok Sabha and state assembly by-elections, DMK failed miserably in alliance making by losing PMK and by giving away 10 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress. On the other hand, AIADMK managed to give only 5 Lok Sabha seats to the country’s ruling party, the BJP and it also has agreed to support AIADMK for the by-elections of 21 assembly seats. In contrast, there was no talk about the by-elections support by DMK allies.
The murmur among the political cadres is that, the Congress, minority party in the state may be able to win one or two seats while more closely, its national rivalry, the BJP may be able to win three seats. The seven to eight seats where Congress seems to loose will be additional winning numbers for the AIADMK alliance. The Kongu belt in the state is looked to be as Pro AIADMK & BJP. Districts of Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tirupur, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Salem, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri always brings a good winning vote share for AIADMK. Having PMK in its alliance, AIADMK makes sure that Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Hosur and some parts of Villupuram and Cuddalore districts also adds strength to the alliance. Kanyakumari, the home constituency of the central minister Shri. Pon Radhakrishnan may again bring him the victory. While there is a tremendous growth of BJP seen in Coimbatore, Tiruppur and few other Southern districts of the state, it may be able to add more vote share to the AIADMK alliance.
DMK has a strong hold in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallore, Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai and few other Central districts of Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, DMK won 10 of the 16 seats in last state assembly elections and in Kancheepuram DMK won 9 of the 11 seats. In Villupuram too, DMK won 7 of the 11 seats in the state assembly elections.
While the above discussed districts brings about the clarity on winning seats, the real tough fight will be in the Delta belt and Southern parts of the state. One has to really find the district or a constituency in the state where the Congress is sure of winning the election. Though the Congress managed to win few assembly seats with the help of DMK, naturally, the question arises, “do the Congress really deserve 10 seats in the DMK alliance?” It brings a doubt, whether DMK and its think-tank has given a serious thought about the seat sharing. Other than having a meagre amount of minority vote share, the Congress doesn’t seem to have accumulated any kind of strength in the state.
When the mainstream political analysts kept predicting that DMK will sweep the state with majority numbers in any upcoming elections, now the scenario looks entirely different. The intellectual wing of DMK seems to be failed in the alliance negotiation and seat sharing.
Looking at the history, DMK was a party formed against the Congress, calling it as a Brahmin party. There was a famous Tamil song sung by late MGR in the screen, “Aariyam kaigal edhirthu nindraalum aadhavan maraivadhillai”. It translates to the meaning, “Sun will not be blocked even if thousand hands stand against it”. That was the time when late MGR was vocal of DMK and stood against the Congress and the lyrics was looked right since the Hand was against the Sun. Now, the Hand has come closer to the Sun and it seems to be blocking the Sun rays. While the Sun set started in Tamil Nadu politics, the leaves are flying high, the flower started blooming and the fruit started ripening.