Assembly polls: What kind of political alignment is the best bet for Jayalalithaa?
Assembly polls: What kind of political alignment is the best bet for Jayalalithaa?

Assembly polls: What kind of political alignment is the best bet for Jayalalithaa?

We don’t know what is going to happen, but what should she be aiming for? Here’s our take.

In February, Tamil Nadu is going to see heightened political activity with all parties trying to craft alliances which will give them maximum leverage before heading into polls.

What kind of political landscape will work best for Jayalalithaa, who remains the strongest contender?

What one has to understand first is that for a political party, it is not good enough to have the best partners on their side, but the worst have to be in the opposition, and more importantly, the opposition must be fragmented. The single real threat to Jayalalithaa comes from a strong and united opposition, an umbrella alliance including DMK and DMDK.

Therefore, the aim for Jayalalithaa must be creating a situation in which her opposition is fragmented, and the best way of achieving that is hoping that BJP and DMDK formalize an alliance for 2016.

How, you ask? Here's how, read it carefully.

The strongest opposition for Jayalalithaa is a DMK-DMDK combine with a few other smaller parties.

The People’s Welfare Alliance - comprising Left parties, MDMK and VCK - is pitching hard for an alliance with Vijayakanth, but they might not be able to bag him when their competitors are DMK and BJP.

It would be really, really tough to cobble together a coalition between PWA and DMK, because both Thirumavalavan of VCK and MDMK’s Vaiko will not get along with DMK’s Stalin.

However, some political observers believe that if the deal is sweet enough, PWA might jump in the fray with the AIADMK.

Tamil Manila Congress led by GK Vasan is inclined towards AIADMK and Congress is angling for an alliance with DMK.

The BJP is looking for the best possible deal there is. The PWA won’t go with them for obvious reasons, and neither will they ally with the DMK. Their options are DMDK and smaller caste-based parties from south and west TN, or AIADMK.

AIADMK does not stand to gain much from the BJP except for the optics, and sources in the Jayalalithaa administration believe that she is not very keen on it. There is the concern of alienating the minority vote en-masse in allying with the BJP.

Now, what would happen if DMDK allies with the BJP?

Vijayakanth would be declared the CM candidate.

PMK will walk out of NDA, since Anbumani Ramdoss wants to be the CM candidate.

DMK will be left only with smaller parties.

PWA will have nowhere else to go, and might consider a coalition with AIADMK as a face-saver.

As a result, Jayalalithaa will have a strong alliance with Tamil Manila Congress and possibly PWA. DMK is left with Congress and few smaller parties. PMK is alone, and DMDK and BJP are fighting together.

So, it will be AIADMK+TMC+PWA Vs DMK+Congress Vs DMDK+BJP and PMK possibly left in the lurch.

This leaves the Queen Bee of TN politics capable of walking over a fragmented opposition and secure the Chief Ministership, yet again. What will really happen? Come February-March, we will know.

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