19 June, 2021

Mother Fixation

Amma has sewn up a rainbow coalition that could swamp a desertion-struck DMK

Mother Fixation
Tamil Nadu has a history of being a psephologist's nightmare. But will it throw up any surprises this election? With no discernible wave and the two key players, the aiadmk and the dmk, extending themselves in the last lap before a very keenly contested elections, a narrow last-minute shift of 3 to 4 per cent could well alter fortunes completely. For the moment, though, the aiadmk-led front appears more formidable than the dmk-led one.

While M. Karunanidhi is not battling anti-incumbency, the aiadmk has gained substantial ground compared to its lacklustre performance in 1996. Observes cpi state unit secretary R. Nallakannu: "In 1996, the mood was decisively against Jayalalitha. In many constituencies, her candidates were stopped from campaigning. But this time there is no such anger."

The dmk had hoped that Jayalalitha's disqualification would demoralise the aiadmk front. Indeed, state law minister Alladi Aruna had predicted that like a headless army, Jayalalitha's cadre would be in total disarray. But the aiadmk cadre have taken the election as a 'do-or-die' battle. In many...

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