April 04, 2021

TAMIL NADU: DMK led Progressive Secular Front Marching towards Victory

A A Nainar

GENERAL Elections for the 16th Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is taking place on April 6. Tamil Nadu elections had always been a binary between the AIADMK on one side and the DMK on the other since 1972. This particular election is unique in that the very popular and experienced leaders like K Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa are not available as the leaders of their respective fronts. However, there is neither any lag of enthusiasm nor less electioneering by the present leadership of those parties.

Hectic campaign is going on once the final and valid list of candidates was announced on the evening of March 22. As is the practice, the regional parties, especially the AIADMK, DMK and their smaller cousins have been conducting a quiet kind of electoral campaign for the last six months.

Now, there are two fronts contesting against each other in these elections here. The DMK front constitutes of the DMK, Indian National Congress, CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, VCK  and other smaller parties. The other front is headed by AIADMK followed by PMK, BJP, Tamil Manila Congress (led by G K Vasan) and a few other smaller parties. Makkal Neethi Mayyam leader, Kamal Hassan leads another front  and two other fronts are being led by T T V Dinakaran (Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam) and Seeman (Naam Tamizhar Katchi).

All political parties have released their election manifestoes reeling out many promises. The political parties are at their competitive best in offering many services free of cost and offering many concessions to the health and education sectors.

The general scenario remaining as explained, there is perceptible anger against the state government led by the AIADMK and the BJP central government over their failure especially during the last five years and the entire decade in general. Price rise, unemployment and other livelihoods issues are discussed in the campaign. Agriculture crisis, corruption, the crisis of the MSME sector, petroleum and gas price increase, denial of states’ rights, attack on minorities, women and children, social justice etc., are the other major issues which are highlighted by the opposition parties seeking to unseat the present government.

Mainly, after the demise of Jayalalithaa, the government led by Edappadi Palanichamy (EPS) was sitting in the seat of power at the mercy of the BJP. The factional fight amongst various groups led by EPS, O Panneerselvam (OPS), Sasikala and others were being mediated by the Delhi bosses. And the Damocles’ Sword of CBI/ED/IT raids were always on the cards on all ministers and leaders of the AIADMK party. And hence their pliability bordering on servility found no bounds. Things became easy for BJP to find a foothold in the state of Tamil Nadu riding piggyback, given this attitude of AIADMK leaders. The silence and support for all statutes and measures of the central government brought disrepute and criticism to the AIADMK in power. In this background the AIADMK led by EPS-OPS combine seeking to return to power does not cut ice with the agitating people of the state. The AIADMK government is having no money in the exchequer to spend, but are announcing schemes to cheat the people. The schemes really are not new. They, again and again, repackage old schemes, that too without any allocation or monetary support through budgets. They did a lot of such things during their last lap of two months.

The level of corruption assumed a new high in this government, on which the DMK had submitted two memoranda backed by evidence to the governor for taking action against AIADMK leaders. Their alliance with the communal BJP is not taken kindly by the people of Tamil Nadu. The serene communal amity of the state of Tamilnadu and the peoples’ unity, are sought to be disturbed and the threat to communal harmony has become real with the belligerent posturing of the BJP.

“Thazhapathi Stalin”, as he is fondly called by his cadres, had systematically and meticulously crafted his strategies and campaign plans well in advance. He and his leaders had finished almost two rounds of campaigns in the entire 234 assembly constituencies. The anti-incumbency factor is ruling very high and the EPS-OPS led administration and their party are ill-equipped to seek a third consecutive term, that too in the company of the notorious communal BJP elements which are on the prowl. Whereas, the DMK front is well disciplined and well composed to take on the incumbent government led by EPS.

The Left parties, both the CPI(M) and CPI are allotted six seats each. CPI contests in Thiruthuraipoondi, Sivagangai, Valparai, Bhavanisagar, Tirupur North and Thali. The CPI(M) is contesting in Kovilpatti. Tirupparankuntram, Dindigul, Gandharvakottai, Kilvelur and Harur. The leaders of the CPI(M) had gone two rounds of the campaign trail in the entire state of Tamil Nadu. Sitaram Yechury, general secretary, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau members visited Tamil Nadu on two occasions each and addressed in more than fifteen districts campaigning for CPI(M), CPI, DMK and all alliance partners. Opinion polls and surveys – secret and open – have predicted a massive victory for the “Team Stalin” and the DMK led front would throw a landslide win this time. Braving various odds like the misuse of official machinery, money power and tricky campaign of the BJP and their ilk the people of Tamil Nadu are sure to give a fitting reply through the ballots.

Contest of Fronts in Tamilnadu
DMK Front                                       AIADMK Front
DMK           173                           AIADMK       179
INC               25                           PMK              23
CPI (M)          6                            BJP                20
CPI                6                            TMC                6
MDMK          6                            Others             6         
VCK              6                                                234 
Others        12


The elections for the 30-member Puducherry legislative assembly of the union territory is scheduled to take place along with Tamil Nadu and Kerala states on April 6, 2021. Two fronts are fighting each other – one led by the Cong-DMK and the other by the N R Congress-BJP-AIADMK.  The CPI(M) is contesting independently from Muthialpet constituency. V Saravanan, an advocate and an ardent Party worker is contesting from that constituency. And Master Haridoss is contesting from Mahe constituency as a CPI(M) supported independent candidate. In all the other 28 constituencies, the CPI(M) supports the Congress-DMK front and has been working for the defeat of BJP, N R Congress and AIADMK combine in the union territory of Puducherry.