Chennai, Feb 26 : Even before the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday announced that Tamil Nadu and Puduchery will go to the polls in a single phase on April 6, political parties here had already got into the election mode.
In Tamil Nadu, the DMK-led front is fighting a tough battle against the ruling AIADMK-led faction. The DMK, which has been out of power for the past 10 years, is in for a do-or-die battle, while the AIADMK is facing its internal issues following the expulsion of Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran from the party.
With Sasikala coming out of prison recently, the faction owing allegiance to her is in an upbeat mood. However, in a strong display of camaraderie, both Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy and Deputy Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam have openly distanced themselves from Sasikala and her family – famously known as the Mannargudi family.
With Panneerselvam and Sasikala belonging to the powerful Thevar community, a section of the confidants of Chief Minister Palaniswamy feels that Panneerselvam and Sasikala may bridge the differences and come together.
A resurgent BJP led by its dynamic leader Murugan, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste, is extending all support to the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. Sources in the BJP revealed that the party wants an unified AIADMK to fight the DMK and win Tamil Nadu. Palaniswamy is a Gounder and enjoys an excellent rapport with senior BJP leader C.P. Radhakrishnan, also from the community, who had won the Coimbatore Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
The DMK, on the other hand, has categorically told its alliance partner Congress that it has to satisfy itself with 22 seats and will not get even a single seat more. The Congress was expecting 45 seats and party leader and former Kerala CM Oomen Chandy, who was deputed by the Congress high command to discuss seat sharing with DMK supremo M.K. Stalin, had to return without any assurance on more seats.
Speaking to IANS over phone, Chandy said, “It’s not the end of the road. We have staked claimed for a certain number of seats but the DMK is not willing to allow the same. We will continue with the discussions and come to a conclusion in a few days time.”
It is to be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Chennai thrice in the recent past and highlighted the central government projects that were allocated to Tamil Nadu. A battery of senior leaders led by Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman will be directly taking over the reins of the BJP campaign in the southern state.
Sources in the BJP said that the party will be staking claim for the Deputy Chief Minister’s post if the AIADMK-led front of which the BJP is a part comes to power in the state.
It is also to be seen how the MNM of superstar Kamal Haasan fares in the elections. Kamal Haasan has already met megastar Rajinikanth, who has announced that he would not be contesting the elections.
In neighbouring Puducherry, the elections will see a vigorous Congress coming out against the BJP poaching its MLAs and allegedly spending “tonnes of money” to make the party MLAs cross over.
Former Chief Minister of Puduchery, V Narayanaswamy, told IANS, “The BJP government at the Centre has butchered democracy in Puduchery by toppling an elected, secular government using tonnes of money and central agencies. The people of the state will give a fitting reply to the anti-people, anti-democratic BJP in the April 6 elections”.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.