back to top
OpinionsTamil Nadu may witness three cornered contest in Lok Sabha elections

Tamil Nadu may witness three cornered contest in Lok Sabha elections


INDI Alliance led by DMK is strongest, but AIADMK and BJP also getting new allies

By K R Sudhaman

It is not yet a done deal with regard to political alliances in Tamil Nadu for the 2024 . As the saying goes there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies in . In Tamil Nadu, politics revolves round two Dravidian parties DMK and AIADMK for a half a century or more. The two parties, which had around 30 to 35 per cent vote share each has certainly come down ever since the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa some years ago. Since then the individual vote share of the two Dravidian parties have come down to 20-22 per cent each and as we had seen in the last few elections, whichever party stitches up better coalition, wins all, be it Tamil Nadu assembly or Lok Sabha elections.

The party combination that comes to power in Tamil Nadu has to garner around 40 per cent of the votes, so the additional 15 to 20 per cent that is needed to win the elections has to come from the alliance partners that either of the party gets into before the elections. Strangely, any of the parties, including parties have in the past aligned with one or the other Dravidian parties thereby indicating no ideological barrier towards them. There is also a third front in every elections, which gets around 15-20 per cent of the votes as there is a percentage of the Tamil Nadu population, which does not vote for either of the Dravidian parties or their combination.

This has been the arithmetic of TN polls for quite some time now. Congress, though ousted from power in the state in 1967, has still some committed voters in every constituency and they form around 8-12 per cent of the votes depending upon which side the wind blows. So the Dravidian party with which Congress aligns has an edge in winning the elections in the present circumstances.

Lately, under the leadership of Annamalai, BJP is becoming a force to reckon with in Tamil Nadu, particularly among the youth, who are fed up with the mounting corruption and caste-based politics of the two Dravidian parties. BJP, which has a vote share of around 4-5 per cent in the last 2021 assembly elections, is expected to go up to 14-15 per cent this time. BJP, which has made it clear that it would not be part of an alliance with either of the Dravidian parties, may cobble up an alliance with some minor parties like that of Late filmstar turned politician Vijayakant's party and this could give an additional 10-12 per cent of the votes.

As of now DMK is part of alliance, but seat sharing discussion with Congress has not yet started. If DMK, being the larger partner in the state, acts tough in seat sharing exercise, there is always a possibility of Congress taking a tough posture. AIADMK has severed its alliance with BJP some time ago and has time and again made it clear that it would not join hands with BJP at least for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, AIADMK feels that, it has to be the senior partner, whereas BJP is of the view that AIADMK can be only part of BJP led NDA alliance, even though state party can contest more seats than BJP.

This is not agreeable to AIADMK as it fears ultimately, the party will get marginalized by BJP as it has happened in states like Maharashtra and Bihar with Shiv Sena and JD(U). Some signs are already visible with splinter groups of AIADMK led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam and Sasi Kala's nephew T T V Dinakaran hinting at the possibility of going with BJP. As of today they being marginal players, it is unlikely to affect the AIADMK, which is largely intact as of today under the leadership of Edappadi Palaniswami.

A clear picture is yet to emerge with regard to alliances in Tamil Nadu. Some smaller parties, traditionally with DMK have reiterated their decision to go with the Dravidian party. Till now DMK has given 1 Lok Sabha seat to Indian Union Muslim League. Another seat was given to Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi. These are two minor partners of DMK, who contested as part of the alliance last time as well. The talks with Congress is expected this week and if congress failed to get as many seats as last time. There might be some real problem for the INDIA block in Tamil Nadu. IUML will fight the April-May Lok Sabha elections from Ramanathapuram parliamentary seat. Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats. There is one additional Lok Sabha seat from Puducherry.

Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan, who heads Makkal Needi Maiyam (MNM), has indicated he is in talks for an alliance. He himself may contest a Lok Sabha seat this time and indications are that he would go with DMK alliance. He is apparently waiting for DMK-Congress seat sharing talks outcome before taking a decision.

As of now DMK is keeping its alliance partners, including the Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Left parties, among others, intact and initiating seat-sharing talks with them, Opposition parties have also begun talks in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections

The state's main Opposition party, AIADMK, which walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is making efforts to bring as many parties as possible under Edappadi K Palaniswami to project them as the alternative to the DMK. Recently, Edappadi participated in a Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) meeting and criticised the BJP asserting they stand for the minorities. He had reiterated they will not join hands with the BJP in either the Lok Sabha polls or the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2026.

C Vee Shanmugam, one of the key AIADMK leaders, held talks with Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Dr S Ramadoss and the meeting is being accorded importance as the PMK, one of the key parties in the state, has not yet announced its decision over the alliance. Last week, during the special executive meeting, the PMK had passed several resolutions including its decision to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll in alliance with parties that care for the welfare of both the state as well as the country.

With the AIADMK taking these measures, BJP is also holding talks with non-Dravidian majors. While the AIADMK is also holding talks with the PMK and the Premalata Vijayakant-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), sources said the latter is likely to join the BJP-led NDA. During the DMDK's executive and general council meeting, Premalatha had said they are ready to hold talks with any party but before that, they need to promise Rajya Sabha seat to them in writing.

Besides the DMDK, T T V Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, T R Paarivendhar's Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK), and K Krishnaswamy's Puthiya Tamizhagam are the other parties who are likely to be part of the NDA. Former chief minister and expelled AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam will most likely campaign for the saffron party. Tamil Maanila Congress led by G K Vasan, son of G K. Moopanar too might go with BJP. He could go with AIADMK as well.

At the moment, the picture with regard to alliance is still unclear and all possibilities are still open. It may take a couple of weeks or so before they take shape. But one thing is clear, that there will be a three-cornered contest in Tamil Nadu for the Lok sabha elections. One will be led by DMK, the second one by AIADMK and the third by BJP.

If DMK goes with Congress, many smaller parties too will go with it making it a formidable alliance. In that event, AIADMK is likely to be the main loser. But there is also growing resentment against DMK rule in Tamil Nadu and that will get reflected mainly in the state assembly elections, which is due only in 2026. BJP however will be an emerging force in the state, even though it may not get translated into many seats in the Lok Sabha elections but the picture could be different in the ensuing assembly elections, if the trend continues and one of the Dravidian parties will get marginalised. (IPA Service)



The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

Share post:


More like this

Oil plays hide and seek with war tensions ahead of some big possible moves

Prices fell when everyone was expecting a sudden spike...

Congress engaged in a last ditch battle to save Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat

Amit Shah’s mega show on Tuesday energised BJP cadres...

Pakistani leaders concerned at involvement of Iran in West Asian War

Islamabad depends on Teheran for large aid to bailout...

Did Pak Army Chief Sack This General?

By RANA BANERJI As has been usual of late, a...