Even as the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) is puffing and panting in the Hindi hearland and in some states down south, Tamil Nadu is certain to retain the suprmeacy of the DMK in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
With 39 Lok Sabha seats ,Tamil Nadu has a major say in the general elections and in the 2019 general elections, the DMK led front romped home with 38 of these 39 seats.
The lone winner from the opposition side was P. Raveendranath Kumar from Theni Loksabha constituency in an AIADMK ticket.
The Lok Sabha seat of Raveeendranath Kumar has been nullified by the Madras High Court in July 2023 citing that he had surpresed information regarding his assets.
It is to be noted that the 43-year-old Raveendranthan Kumar is the son of O. Pannerselvam (OPS) who was the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and coordinater of the AIADMK who is now expelled from the party.
While the DMK leadeeship and the parry is in an embarassing situation after ministers from the party being sentenced by courts in corruption charges and arrested and jailed, the failure of the opposition AIADMK to put its act together has led to the DMK getting away.
The DMK Minister and strong man from Karur, Shenthil Balaji was arrested and jailed in a case related to job for cash scam and this has led to the party losing popularity in the area. Senior DMK leader and state Higher education minister,. K.Ponmudi is the second casualty with the Madras High Court sentencing him and his wife for three years imprisonment again embarassing the DMK and its leadership.
With the AIADMK turning into a divided house after the expulsion of OPS, VK Shashikala and TTV Dhinakaran - all from the powerful Thevar community that has a huge clout in South Tamil Nadu politics, things have become easier for the DMK.
Even though the advent of IPS officer turned politician, K.Annamalai has been makng waves in Tamil Nadu after being anointed as the president of the state BJP, the lack of a strong grassroot organisation is preventing the saffron party to catapult to a higher position in Tamil Nadu politics.
The DMK government led by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has done commendably well since it assumed office in 2021 and has initiated several welfare measures that the party had promised in its election manifesto.
The ‘Makkale Thedi Marutham’ (health to door steps) scheme of the state government providing routine health checkups at the door steps of people across the state has become a major hit among the people of the state and Stalin has become more popular.
The free bus services for women has also become hugely popular among the public as women who works as daily helps and hopping into three or four houses a day in cities saves a lot of money in travel thus endearing the government and party to the people of the state.
With Tamil Nadus biggest festival ‘Pongal’ coming up in mid January and the state providing free kits including provisions that can sustain a family for more than a month, saris and dhotis , the impact will be big among the families who recieves these free kits.
The calculated move by the DMK leader and state minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, Udayanidhi Stalin who is also the son of Chief Minister MK Stalin raking up the Sanatana Dharma controversy has endeared him to the Dalit and OBC communities of the state which are the voting populace of Tamil Nadu.
The fight between the Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and the DMK government with the former holding many bills passed by the state legislature has not gone down well with the people of the state. The Supreme Court of India has also come down heavily on the state Governor in this issue.
C. Rajeev,Director of Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank based out of Chennai while speaking to IANS sakd ,“. The DMK is far ahead of the opposition in the state and many of its people friendly schemes has endeared it to the masses. While there are several allegations against the DMK and its government by and large the DMK. is much better placed than the opposition in Tamil Nadu and rhis will be a purely one sided fight with DMK in a much higher pedestial in the 2024 general elections. “
However the DMK repeating the 39 seat victory in the general elections are unlikely and the AIADMK has a possibility of winning a few seats in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.