24 July, 2021

The Many Challenges For AIADMK In Lok Sabha Polls

Dhinakaran and a sex scandal threaten AIADMK’s chances in this summer’s parliamentary polls

Slogans And placards
Protests against the Pollachi sex scandal
Photograph by PTI
The Many Challenges For AIADMK In Lok Sabha Polls

Challenges linked to elections come in many shapes and sizes­­—some can be antici­pated, most are hard to tell. The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu is now straddling both fronts. The party clearly anticipated that its vote-share would be eroded after its split and when T.T.V. Dhinakaran emerged as a doughty challenger. To compensate this erosion it embraced the PMK, BJP and Vijayakanth’s DMDK—even if it meant contesting only 21 seats as against all the 39 it had in 2014, of which it won 37.

While Dhinakaran has lost his legal challenges—against the disqualification of his 18 MLAs and denying the AIADMK its Two Leaves poll symbol—he remains a potent political threat especially in the Thevar-dominated districts of the Cauvery delta and southern Tamil Nadu. “Dhinakaran knows that he will not win any seat, but his intention is to undercut our vote bank and spoil our winning chances. So, while we take the DMK head on, we also need to watch out for Dhinakaran snapping at our heels,” a senior AIADMK minister says.


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