Tamil Nadu geared up for the sixteenth legislative assembly election that is being held on 6 April 2021 to elect members from 234 constituencies. The voters are split into two parts; some are strong with Congress as Rahul Gandhi succeeded in winning the confidence of the people. Moreover, with the entry of BJP, they are scared of communal politics and losing their Tamil Pride inviting Hindi imposers in the state.
Amma’s dream is right now the biggest priority for the AIADMK cadre but unfortunately, they are divided within. Party can continue to rule even after Jayalalithaa is a big question. Making an effort to keep everyone in the loop, Sasikala the close aide of Jayalalithaa urged her party workers “All true followers of Jayalalithaa need to act with wisdom to ensure the DMK, that ‘Amma’ identified as our common enemy, is kept out of power,”. The party has lost a considerable vote share after the demise of Ms. J Jayalalithaa who had a mass appeal among the public.
On the other hand voters of Tamil Nadu suspect that the AIADMK may align with BJP to come to power so their Tamil language pride is diverting them towards DMK. Meanwhile, TTV Dhinakaran formed a new party called Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) which contested in the 2019 election, and this party pulled out around 5% seat share. This 5% of the votes are traditional ADMK votes and these votes were mostly from ADMK supporters who want Sasikala/Dhinakaran to take up ADMK leadership.
AMMK has been opposing ADMK leadership since the time of its formation. So if AMMK continues to oppose ADMK even in 2021, there will be a considerable loss to ADMK votes. ADMK has Edappadi Palaniswamy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and O. Panneerselvam Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as its powerheads. However, they were not elected Ministers like Jayalalitha. People may need some time to accept these leaders.
Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan made his entry into active politics and there are many who endorse him as CM candidate. Kamal Hassan has his fan following as an actor, and as a politician, he can grab Muslim votes. In the 70s and 80s, ADMK was very popular among the masses because of its founder M. G. Ramachandran, a popular actor and former chief minister. Kamal Hassan is an equally famous actor but his political inning may not be as strong as it was of M. G. Ramachandran.
Later on, Jayalalithaa became the face of the M. G. Ramachandran AMMK party for over 20 years till her death in 2016. After her death, ADMK experienced a leadership crisis. Finally, Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswamy took over the leadership with the consent of party workers, but they didn’t appeal to the masses like MGR or Jayalalithaa.
ADMK had an alliance with BJP and is close to BJP, which took away ADMK’s traditional minority votes in the 2019 election. They form a considerable solid 3–5% of the party’s vote bank. If the alliance persists in 2021, there is a good chance of losing these votes again.
Forming a grand alliance including Congress, PMK, Muslim league, Tamil Manila Congress, Makkal Needhi Maiyyam, CPI, CPM, Viduthalai Ciruthaigal (VCK), and DMDK would help ADMK beat DMK. Cutting off BJP and having an alliance with Congress would help ADMK in reviving its minority vote bank. But chances of this grand alliance are a rare possibility because DMK is not on good terms with Congress.
Cash for votes has been playing a major factor in every election in Tamil Nadu. The ruling party generally tends to distribute a higher amount than the opposition. Since ADMK is currently ruling the state, they have this advantage. If the party gives big amounts of cash to the public, chances can be improved.
Minority voters are DMK’s staunch vote bank, they are bound to vote for DMK again if the party continues its alliance with Congress and ADMK continues to be with BJP. A strong performance in the 2019 elections has boosted the party’s image and strength. DMK completely lost in the 2014 general election and emerged as a party with 0 seats. But in 2019 it emerged as the nation’s third-biggest party with respect to the number of seats won in 2019.
Both DMK and ADMK lost their big leaders between 2016 and 2019. But ADMK did not have a defined successor, while DMK had a successor. Even though the party has allegations of nepotism, the current leader of DMK, Stalin was well known among the public when compared to Mr. Edappadi Palaniswamy of ADMK. A split between AMMK and ADMK may help in southern Tamil Nadu.
BJP is the predominant opposition of DMK and the party in the centre. This party tends to make political strategies that are shrewd in nature. On the other hand, Sasikala’s move has stumped the BJP, which was hoping to control the AIADMK and Tamil Nadu through her. Above all, if north India’s politics is based on Religious polarization, politics in Tamil Nadu is based on “Pride”.
Stalin had been the Deputy Chief Minister and it was during his tenure Chennai was completely developed at the infrastructure level. Also, the “First Graduate” scheme introduced by Karunanidhi has helped a lot of the rural populace and is seen as a boon. If EPS avoids making blunders and if Stalin continues to follow his present strategies, DMK has all the fortune in forthcoming elections.