Chennai, June 13(BPNS)
When MK Stalin government was sworn in on May 7, 2021, after a massive electoral victory, there were several schools of thoughts as to how the Chief minister would project himself. There were possibilities of “Cult” politics coming back to the state of Tamil Nadu after the passing away of J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. However as any shrewd politician would do, Stalin tried to project a picture of himself as a leader with an inclusive brand of politics, hitherto unheard of in Tamil Nadu where political leaders viewed each other as enemies with both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi taking turns to put the other in jail.
Stalin in his one month and odd rule proved that he is an effective administrator and that he has learned the tricks of the game. With the experience of being the Deputy Chief Minister of the state under his father M Karunanidhi and as a former Mayor of Chennai, who solved the menace of the city’s waste disposal and changing the face of the city by constructing several flyovers, Stalin proved beyond doubt that he is firmly in the saddle.
With the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging in the state of Tamil Nadu, Stalin maintained his cool and even showed courage and resilience by appearing in public by wearing PPE kits and enquiring about the welfare of the Covid patients inside a Covid ward. As a whole, the new Tamil Nadu Chief minister proved that he could manage the show brilliantly.
Having projected a positive image of himself within the state, Stalin did not leave any opportunity to attack the Union government and firing salvos at it in every opportune moment he could get. In the virtual GST council meeting called by the Union government, the Tamil Nadu finance minister PTR Thiagarajan lashed out against the Government policies of the Modi government and pointed out the disparities in sharing the GST taxes to the state government equally with both large governments and small governments being equally benefitted.
This was a calculated moved on the party of the Tamil Nadu Chief minister as it is known clearly that it was indeed Stalin who had encouraged his finance minister to go full throttle against the Central government.
Stalin on last Tuesday, 8 June wrote a letter to the 12 non-BJP ruled Chief ministers and requested them to petition the Union government and Reserve Bank of India to provide a moratorium to the MSME sector which was the backbone of the country’s economy. Stalin in the letter requested the Union government to provide relief to loans amounting to 5 crore rupees and sent letters to all the 12 non- BJP ruled Chief ministers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Delhi, and Jharkhand follow suit. This is seen as a shrewd move of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as he does want to become a rallying point of all the non- BJP forces in the country, a move which was successfully practiced by his late father, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi.
Karunanidhi had a cordial relationship with whoever was in power at the centre but he was firm in wresting out the necessities of the state and Stalin seems to have gone one step ahead with the 2024 loksabha elections in sight. He knows that with the political churning taking place in the country, there could be a political opportunity and that he should capitalize on that.
Dr. G Palanithurai former Member of Tamil Nadu Planning Commission and Professor (Rtd) Gandhigram Deemed University, Tamil Nadu while speaking to BPNS said, “Stalin has shed away the image of the DMK and has given a message down the line to the cadres to be a party which is pro-people and people-friendly and to the surprise of many he practiced inclusive politics in Tamil Nadu and has consolidated his image within the state as a leader of stature and is aiming towards a position of statesmanship. Outside of the state, he is trying to become a rallying point of all the non- BJP ruled Chief Minister’s and states and to an extent he has become successful in this approach also.”
In the past one month and 6 days since Stalin assumed office as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu he has built a carefully cultivated aura towards him and is emerging as an undisputed leader of Tamil people and trying to set his sight at a higher pedestal.