DMK chief MK Stalin can certainly take credit for the party's lead in 37 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu. With Modi's victory at the Centre, and AIADMK's chances of scraping through the possible floor test crisis post the bypolls, DMK's victory may just be bitter-sweet.
With May 23 being the counting day, the results in Tamil Nadu would seem to be the most intriguing.
Bucking the national trend, it is a total rout for the AIADMK-BJP alliance (the BJP contested only five seats though), with the DMK-led front poised to sweep 37 of the 38 seats that went to polls in the state on April 18.
As it happens, the mood in the DMK camp was bitter-sweet.
The party was happy for having done well in the Parliamentary elections in the state, but the euphoria was tempered by the fact that the MPs of Tamil Nadu sent to the Parliament would just be bystanders. Also, more pertinently, results of the bypolls in the 22 Assembly seats in the state did not match the Lok Sabha win of the party. The DMK had to keep the AIADMK numbers to less than four for a realistic chance of unseating the Edappadi Palanisamy government and staking claim to form the government in the state.
The AIADMK has been ahead in 9 seats. The numbers for the AIADMK would make it seem that the party might just about scrape through the possible floor test crisis.
At Anna Arivalayam (the DMK headquarters), the Parliamentary polls' victory celebrations were muted as the DMK, which was hoping for an important role in national politics a la 2004 and 2009, was pushed back by the sensational surge of the BJP-led NDA all over the country.
In 2004, the DMK had eleven ministers, and in UPA's second edition in 2009, it supplied eight ministers. Of course, those were the days when its MPs provided crucial numbers to the coalition. But today's verdict in favour of the BJP would leave the DMK in a precarious spot from where it can peddle very little influence on the Centre.
And the lack of space for manoeuvrability in state politics too would be agonising for the DMK, which has been feeling adrift since 2014.
But DMK president MK Stalin, for whom this was the first major test since the demise of his father M Karunanidhi, can certainly take credit for the party's lead in 37 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu. There was a question mark hovering over Stalin's leadership qualities and whether he can swing the masses in his party's favour. The grand show by the DMK front would provide the much-needed confidence to him. Stalin's job was though made easy by the pronounced anti-AIADMK/BJP mood in the State.
That the AIADMK has managed to put a better fight in the Assembly contest should be a reminder to Stalin that the path ahead of him and his party is bound to be arduous.
For Tamil Nadu, purely from a national perspective, the election may be a dampener. The lone elected minister from the state in the previous Modi government, Pon Radhakrishnan, bit the dust. Unless the arriving NDA government chooses to include the AIADMK RS members, Tamil Nadu may go unrepresented in the national ministerial team. (Of course, Nirmala Sitharaman is a Tamilian. But her Rajya Sabha seat does not come from Tamil Nadu.)
The irony of Tamil Nadu today is that it may have pushed the BJP away, but the state may still have to look up to it for due development and balanced representation.
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Last Updated 23, May 2019, 7:04 PM