With AIADMK in doldrums, DMK confident of returning to power in TN
With the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) still coming to terms with its poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is upbeat about dislodging the Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) government in the 2021 assembly election.
The DMK-led alliance won 37 of 38 Lok Sabha seats with the AIADMK retaining only Theni. The winning margins were so high -- roughly 200,000 in many seats -- that the crushing defeat has triggered a leadership tussle in the AIADMK between the chief minister and deputy CM O Panneerselvam, whose son OP Raveendranath won the only seat for the ruling party.
AIADMK managed to save its government by winning nine of the 22 assembly seats where bypolls were held, but the strength of the DMK in the assembly has increased, given that 21 of these were held by the ruling party earlier.
In a House of 234 members, the ruling party has a slim majority with 119 MLAs. There are three dissidents and three independents who had won on AIADMK tickets but remain fence sitters.
The DMK’s strength is 101, while its allies the Congress and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) have seven and one seat respectively. Amma Makkal Munntera Kazhagam (AMMK) general secretary TTV Dhinakaran is an independent member.
In the Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK’s vote share plummeted to 18.48% from 44.3% in 2014, while that of the DMK shot up to 32.76% from 26.8%. The AIADMK alliance secured 29.76% votes and the DMK alliance secured 45.07%.
“The AIADMK is all but finished. The EPS government is corrupt to the core and there is no governance at all. People are disenchanted with the AIADMK regime,” said DMK organising secretary RS Bharathi.
But the AIADMK is not throwing in the towel without a fight. The party is making attempts to recover lost ground and accommodate people from dissident leader Dhinakaran’s camp. “Success and defeat are common in elections. Losing one election doesn’t mean the party is down and out. Assembly polls are two years away and there is enough time left for us to work out appropriate strategies,” said spokesperson Vaigai Selvan.