Chennai, June 24 (BPNS)
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which is aiming for all the 39 loksabha seats from Tamil Nadu and the one seat from Union territory of Puducherry is trying to take up a major role in the 2024 general elections.
DMK and its allies garnering maximum number of seats in the 2024 will mean a major thrust for the Opposition at the centre and the ruling front of Tamil Nadu is far ahead of the NDA alliance of BJP and AIADMK in the state. This should mean that even if the DMK and its alliance is not winning all the seats from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the front will win a sizeable number of seats.
It is to be noted that other than Tamil Nadu, the opposition is likely to get a large number of seats from Kerala, where the opposition is in all probability win all the 20 seats. However in Karnataka, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, the possibility of the opposition winning the maximum number of seats is much less. In the 2019 general elections, the BJP could win 4 seats from Telengana out of the 17 seats and in Karnataka, eventhough the party lost the assembly elections, BJP stand a chance to win atleast half of the seats. Andhra Pradesh is a different situation with the ruling YSR Congress party winning 22 of the 25 seats.
YSR Congress party has also not participated in the Opposition unity meeting in Bihar just like the BRS party. While K. Chandrashekar Rao of the BRS who is the Chief Minister of Telengana has a different agenda and had travelled across the country to catapult himself as the Prime Minister candidate. This means that other than Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the opposition may not get maximum seats from South India and this makes Stalin a major point of action for the opposition unity.
After the arrest of serving Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Stalin has openly stated that the DMK cannot be cowed down by using central agencies and that the party was ready for any tit for tat. Interestingly Stalin meant what he spoke and the Tamil Nadu police arrested SJ Suryah ,BJP state office bearer on charges of a fake social media post and later an AIADMK district office bearer of Erode district for another social media post.
With the BJP state president K. Annamalai- an IPS officer turned politician, openly coming out against Stalin and the DMK by bringing out DMK files, it was clear that the saffron party would fight against the DMK at any cost.
However Stalin has earned great reputation in Tamil Nadu after coming to power in 2021 and the state of Tamil Nadu is getting investments and the state is on the right path in all social parameters. The state government ,after Stalin becoming Chief Minister had envisaged several social programmes including ‘Makkale Thedi Maruthum’ which is health at door steps, ‘Illam Thedi Kalvi’ for children to compensate the learning loss due to Covid -19 pandemic and several other schemes that made a direct connect for Stalin and DMK to the people of Tamil Nadu.
AIADMK, the principal opposition party of Tamil Nadu is a divided house with one of its stalwarts and former Chief Minister of the state, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) expelled from the party by the present general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS). It is to be noted that OPS is from the powerful Thevar community which has considerable sway in South Tamil Nadu and can decide the fate of several seats in the districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kanniyakumari, Theni and some other districts. In the 2019 general elections, while DMK won 38 of the 39 loksabha seats from Tamil Nadu, it was only the Theni loksaba seat that AIADMK won. The candidate was O.P. Raveendranathan, son of O. Panneerselvam (OPS). This shows the clout, OPS holds in a district which is his home town.
The current leadership of the AIADMK also has expelled former interim general secretary of the party, VK Sasikala who was also the former aide of late Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa. She is also a Thevar like OPS and has considerable influence among the Thevar community. Sasikala’s nephew and former MLA, TTV Dhinakaran who was also expelled from the AIADMK, floated the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) which has also considerable influence in South Tamil Nadu. Added to this, the alliance between AIADMK and the BJP is rickety with the BJP state president, K. Annamalai time and again coming out against the AIADMK in covert and overt manner.
The AIADMK and BJP had even had public spats against each other and this has given an external feeling that all is not well in the AIADMK, BJP alliance of Tamil Nadu and the alliance winning seats in Tamil Nadu in the 2024 general elections are less.
Stalin is expected to take a major role in the 2024 general elections on the merit of the Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) led by DMK garnering a large number of seats. Late Muthuvel Karunanidhi, DMK leader and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who is the father of Stalin had played a pivotal role in forming the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre in 2014 and the opposition parties are expecting a similar role by MK Stalin in the post-electoral scenario of 2024.