Vijayakanth’s bombshell of an announcement to contest the elections alone has shaken up Tamil Nadu’s political parties. While reactions from some political parties were predictable, political experts are divided on how it will pan out, but unanimous in thinking that the DMK has lost out.
Here’s what four political experts told The News Minute:
RAMU MANIVANNAN, teaches Political Science at Madras University:
I think this is still a double-edged word. What we hear is that it was a track-3 negotiation to stand alone, and this clearly benefits the AIADMK.
The only thing that might make him change his mind is joining the BJP and if they project him as the chief ministerial candidate. If at all he wants to change his mind, he’ll go to the BJP. It depends on what the DMK says about him in the next two days. If the DMK doesn’t say anything nasty, he may consider them.
But at the end of the day, he needs the money from AIADMK, and his career from the BJP. What DMK does or does not say is very important in the next few days. After the negotiations, the problem was DMK came out with so many statements and this put Vijayakanth off and he felt he needed to make his stance clear.
TN GOPALAN, Senior Journalist:
We don’t know if this is Vijayakanth’s final position. I wouldn’t be surprised if he either aligns with the BJP or the DMK in the end. He can also go alone, because he has done it in the past, but it will only help the AIADMK this time.
It is quite possible that BJP instigates him to go alone. BJP and AIADMK have always been allies, openly or secretly. They have had very good chemistry. For all we know, Javadekar might have come here to coerce Vijayakanth to go at it alone for AIADMK. There is a strong possibility of back room operations. Both the centre and the state will be favourable towards him with the stand he has taken. I don’t think he is there to capture power.
DMK did open channels of communication, but maybe Vijayakanth was never serious about the DMK from the beginning. For all we know, this could be another bargaining tactic as well. I am convinced he is still keeping his options open. And the loser here is definitely the DMK.”
GNANI SANKARAN, Political Analyst:
“We have only been looking at open alliances, but what about the possibility of secret alliances? One possible secret ally could be BJP.
BJP could have calculated that having Vijayakanth openly with them may not benefit. But they also don’t want him to add to the strength of the DMK. So by going alone, he is affecting neither the BJP nor aiding the DMK. He knows that if he allies with the DMK, he knows DMK is likely to nudge him out if they come to power. Whether this is favourable to AIADMK or not, is not the question. Does this favour the electorate? Now almost everyone is going alone as of now.
The individual strength of these formations will now be known. This could just change the electoral system, and they will now ask for proportional representation. So, the moment they fight individually, everyone will start clamouring for a change in the electoral system.
R MANI, Senior Journalist:
It is going to be a six cornered fight, it is absolutely advantageous for Amma. She is enjoying anywhere between 36 – 40%, and DMK 25-30%. In a multi cornered fight, it is a clear advantage for Jayalalithaa.