M.R. Subramani
M.R. Subramani

News Editor-cum-Commodities Editor who thinks there is always a lighter side to everything, from business to politics

M R Subramani

Congress ditches TN, again

M R Subramani | Updated on July 09, 2013 Published on July 09, 2013

In the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu, the Congress had an opportunity to rip open the State politics. But as in 1996, it blinked giving little hope to those looking for a non-Dravidian party rule in the State!

It was a feeling of déjà vu when the Congress let go an opportunity to assert itself in Tamil Nadu politics two weeks ago. This was during the elections to fill the six vacancies in the Rajya Sabha.

Until the 11th hour, as is its wont, the Congress kept everyone guessing.

It had a chance to take a new path, to forge a new alliance or chalk a new strategy. But in the end, by deciding to support the DMK and its candidate Kanimozhi it fell, between two stools.

Most political pundits may disagree but the fact is that Congress is now presented with an opportunity to begin all over again in Tamil Nadu politics.

The DMK had left it and the United Progress Alliance citing the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The DMK itself had made its existence in the alliance difficult with a slew of corruption charges against its ministers in the Government, though. Therefore, the Sonia Gandhi-led party could have gone in for a new partner or alliance during the elections to the Rajya Sabha.

An alliance with the AIADMK is totally ruled out since the J. Jayalalithaa-led party aspires to contest all the 40 seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on its own. With the two primary Dravidian parties turning rivals, the Congress, probably, could have extended support to the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) besides bringing in another couple of parties to join it.

It had a wonderful opportunity to lead a third front in Tamil Nadu, which could have in the long run benefitted it. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Though the Congress says the backing of the DMK candidate is only for the Rajya Sabha elections, there is no guarantee that it may not go back on its words.

What all these developments have done is leave in smoke hopes of any non-Dravidian party emerging in the near future in the State. In fact, it was the Congress that buried the hopes of a non-Dravidian party coming to power in 1996. Then, AIADMK’s standing among the people in Tamil Nadu was at low ebb, while the DMK, too, had little to gain.

In fact, it was an atmosphere in which the people in the State could have accepted and embraced a third alternative. It was also when Tamil superstar Rajnikanth’s magic was working at its best in Tamil Nadu.

Sun TV, in fact, tapped this magic and the people’s disappointment with the then AIADMK Government to telecast his interview for two consecutive Sundays. It was an event the whole State was glued to then. It was then that Rajnikanth made the famous statement that “even God cannot save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa comes back to power”. (Of course, 2011 changed the scenario upside down!)

Unfortunately, the Congress then chose to align with the AIADMK. It led to a split in the Congress in Tamil Nadu with the late G.K. Moopanar walking out to from Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), while went to the polls in alliance with the DMK.

Congress drew a blank in the elections, while the AIADMK ended up with just four seats and its supremo Jayalalithaa lost from, what was termed as a safe seat, Bargur.

With Rajnikanth’s backing, the DMK and TMC swept to power (only to lose their hold in 1998 after the bomb blasts in Coimbatore). The groundswell of support for the DMK-TMC combine even made a Moopanar lieutenant comment that probably, they should have gone it alone with Rajnikanth support. The remark came too late in the day.

The support for TMC even made P. Chidambaram to talk of his party coming to power in the State one day! The current scenario seemed as fluid as in 1996 before the Congress spoilt the party.

People in Tamil Nadu are looking for a way out of the Dravidian parties’ rule. Only the BJP seems to be playing solo. That is mainly because none of the Dravidian parties wants to align with it, directly. Even then, it is trying various tricks.

If only Congress had half the guts as the BJP … Be it Indira, Rajiv, Narasimha Rao, Sonia or Rahul Gandhi, Tamil Nadu is one to be looked at for short-term benefits as far as the Congress is concerned. And that holds little hope for the people in the State.

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Published on July 09, 2013
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