In the context of Tamil Nadu politics, how many can recall the full form of parties such as the ANMK or IJK? They could play havoc with fortunes of the giants, the DMK and AIADMK, a fact that gives them a chance to play pricey, mainly in cases where the contest is tough.
And some of these small caste-based parties that are not part of the camps of either the DMK or the AIADMK have fielded candidates. They may not win, but have enough damage potential to alter the chances of the established parties in a manner that is difficult to predict, said P Kanagaraj, who teaches at Government Arts College, Coimbatore.
Also, some of them are in the fray not to win but to take revenge against the big parties.For example, film actor Karthik wants to prove a point to AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for allegedly insulting his party. Hailing from the political dominant Thevar community, his outfit, Akhila Indhiya Naadarum Makkal Katchi (ANMK), has support in southern Tamil Nadu, and has fielded candidates in some 30 constituencies. In the last assembly elections of 2006, it was his party that ruined the chances of a former AIADMK minister in Tirunelveli by taking away more than the victory margin of 2,000 votes.
"We will show our strength and prove it to the AIADMK," Karthik said after announcing his candidates.
Karthik's is an individual initiative. And there are outfits that have come together under the leadership of educationist-turned-politician TR Pachamuthu's party, Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK), with pockets of influence in Villipuram, Cuddalore, Perambulur and Ariyalur in central TN. Along with it are the TMMK, Samooka Samathuva Padai, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Peravai, VOC Peravai and Social Democratic Party of India. Together this front is fielding 150 candidates. In May 2006 assembly polls, there were 27 constituencies where the victory margin was less than 2,000 votes.