While the future of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka hangs in balance, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is looking at focusing on national politics at this point in time. All eyes are on Lok Sabha election results to be announced on May 23.
As exit poll results were doing the rounds on Sunday evening, the leaders of opposition parties put out frenzied tweets questioning the Election Commission's conduct and also the credibility of the predictions. But one important party in the potential opposition pantheon remained totally silent.
It was the DMK.
But it's embarrassing lack of volubility and its general discomfiture with the latest tactics of the opposition combine is only too understandable because the DMK is expected to do exceeding well in the elections.
How can the DMK question the polls in which it is predicted to emerge victorious? The DMK, as it happens, is hoping for a double whammy, since it is expecting the results of the by-elections to the 22 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu to also remain favourable.
If anything, it will have a watchful eye on the results of the Assembly bypolls, which of course has a straight bearing on the fortunes of the Edappadi Palanisamy government in Tamil Nadu.
At the moment, on paper, the AIADMK has 114 MLAs in the 234-member Assembly. It would require at least four more MLAs to stay put in power. Apart from having to win a minimum of four more MLAs, the AIADMK also has the tough task of keeping its existing MLAs under control as they seem ready to switch loyalties should the election results (both Parliamentary as well as state bypolls) be not so favourable to the AIADMK.
If the exit polls are anything to go by, the AIADMK government is sitting on the edge, and is looking up to the BJP to save it from keeling over.
DMK (along with its allies - the Congress and the IUML) has 97 members in the Assembly. It needs to win a minimum of 20 seats to stake claim to form the government. If it doesn't, then it may have to fall back on the support of the TTV Dhinakaran's AMMK. It would be a tough tactical decision, and Dhinakaran has to anyway offer it.
Already plenty of backroom negotiations are on, and some doomsday psephologists are claiming that the AIADMK government will indeed fall, and the current deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam may switch over to the BJP. Panneerselvam has denied these claims, but none is ready to believe his protestations.
The DMK, for its part, is also looking at the developments at the national level, and the Congress, its ally, is keeping its fingers crossed.
Crossed out is perhaps the term one would use to describe the current equations between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in neighbouring Karnataka. There too, the state government is looking shaky.
The general feeling is that the one-year-old HD Kumaraswamy government, which never felt even a semblance of stability in the best of times, will fall if the BJP does well in the general elections. It will be the last straw on the strained relationship between the JD(S) and the Congress.
The differences between the two parties were all that was left to see all through the election campaign. Both the parties were at each other's throat rather than the BJP's. The saffron party emerging victorious in Karnataka Lok Sabha election may just be the tug that brings the Kumaraswamy government down.
The Congress's major trouble shooter, water resources minister DK Shivakumar is strangely in Australia, making the party's position more precarious than ever. HD Kumaraswamy seems to have become stoical about his government's future, and has instead chosen to focus on national-level developments as Chandrababu Naidu met him in Bengaluru.
And Chandrababu Naidu himself has pretty high stakes hanging in balance back in Andhra Pradesh as the state Assembly elections results would be out tomorrow. Some exit polls predict a victory for his arch rival YS Jaganmohan Reddy. A few other exit surveys have given the TDP an edge to emerge victorious in the Assembly polls.
It is a close election for sure, and it could also be a hung Assembly in Andhra. In which case, Chandrababu Naidu's energy would be taken away by the needs of his state politics, and his efforts at the national level would get reduced. As of now, speculation is that Naidu is keen on a role in national politics while he wants his son Nara Lokesh to take over the reins in Andhra.
But all depends on what numbers come up tomorrow.
The suspense in these three states is keeping all the leaders on tenterhooks.
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Last Updated 22, May 2019, 7:36 PM