After almost three and half decade, the state is witnessing an interesting set-up in the run to elections. This is for the first time since 1977 that two of the major political powerhouses of the state – All Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Darvida Munnetra Kazghagam (DMK) haven’t joined hands with either Congress of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

At a time when AIADMK,DMK and Congress are treading on their respective paths, the BJP, which is desperate to save its skin in the state, has entered into an alliance with a number of regional parties. The development has heightened the ‘x-factor’ in the elections.

Though the trends have placed Jayalalithaa on front, the multi-cornered contest comes off with the possibility of throwing up shocking and unexpected results. Out of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state, around two dozen seats are going to witness a multi-cornered fight. This implies that apart from AIADMK and DMK, Congress as well as BJP is going to make the poll-battle quite interesting on the 24 seats out of 39.

In fact, there are 12 such seats, which are going to see a direct contest between the AIADMK and DMK and which way the results sway, remains to be seen on the 24 seats.

What appears quite interesting is that Congress as well as BJP has added fuel to the already raging fire between Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi and in such a scenario, the elections in Tamil Nadu has donned an awe-generating hue and it seems that the state is going to play a determining role in electing the Prime Minister.

Jayalalithaa versus Modi

The battle is not just confined between DMK, AIADMK, Congress and BJP but somewhere across the line, it narrows down to Jayalalithaa and her Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi. While on one hand, Jayalalithaa is presenting herself as the Tamil Prime Minister, BJP is strumming every string to brighten the prospects of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Even BJP supporters like DMDK, PMK, MDMK, KMDK and LJK seem to be influenced by Modi’s popularity and are stressing on the role of Tamil Nadu in Delhi’s political arena.
By snapping ties with the Left parties and joining hands with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJP) supremo Naveen Patnaik, she has also presented herself as the potential prime ministerial candidate.

A professor of political science in Madurai Kamraj University says, “By parting ways with Left parties and developing affinity to Mamata, Jayalalithaa has herself created conditions of a multi-cornered contest. In order to give wings to her own ambitions, she has confused the voters supporting Left parties. She is of the opinion the Left voters, in a situation of lack of options, may turn to her. This is correct to a certain extent as she does not have the numbers of lead as of now.”

It’s indeed clear that BJP does not have any way out to draw Tamil votes but still they are trying to spoil Jaya’s party. The reality is that the BJP was never in a position to bag even a single seat on its own.

However, with Modi wave at its crescendo this time around, the party may see some changes in its fortunes. According to an official of independent think-tank based firm Observer Research Foundation, “BJP’s votes will increase and there are no dual opinions regarding that but whether it would be potent enough to make it win seats, is the major question.”

(JPN/Bureau)

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