For a state that has never ceased to be the hub of politicking, Tamil Nadu is seeing a lull as far as politics is concerned. First it was Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa being hospitalised and even as reports of her recovery are doing the rounds, her arch rival and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi was hospitalised today.
M Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauveri hospital in Chennai early Thursday morning. The leader had refrained from making public appearances for over a month after a bout of infection. AIADMK's Chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been in Apollo Hospital in Chennai since September 22.
The DMK had accused the AIADMK of bringing governance to a halt after Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation , a claim that was vehemently refuted by AIADMK. With Karunanidhi in the hospital, the political bickering is likely to take a back seat. Despite bypolls keeping politicians on their toes in Tamil Nadu whole of November, the fervour was missing owning to the big heads of Tamil Nadu politics missing in action.
Politics in Tamil Nadu
An average Tamil Nadu voter has always associated the party with a face, a leader, a charismatic figure that is the be all and end all of the party. With the exit of one leader, another emerges but it is one individual again nonetheless. Right from Periyar to Anna to MGR to Kalaignar to Amma, it has been a face that has drawn the voter. Parties have also chosen to sell on the brand of a leader than the ideology of the party, simply because all Dravidian parties emerge from the same historic self-respect movement.
How AIADMK made up for 'Amma'
With their leader restricted to a hospital ward as the state geared up for bypolls in 3 constituencies, the AIADMK was forced to look out for unique ways to take her to the people. The IT wing of AIADMK ran a Hi-tech campaign to take Jayalalithaa's message to the people, iPads, mobile LED screens, AudioVideo screening campaign- the AIADMK did everything they could to assure the people of Jayalalithaa's presence during campaign, in digital if not physical form. It did do the trick for them.
When heir apparent met the ousted brother
As M Karunanidhi withdrew to the walls of his residence after a bout of infection, an unlikely visitor drew attention of all within the party and outside. Ousted party leader and Karunanidhi's son, M K Azhagiri's frequent visits to DMK Chief Karunanidhi's residence set the rumour of his return rolling. While the party cadre was divided over his return to the party, Azhagiri maintained that the visits were mere courtesy calls on his ailing father. The frequent visits did make followers of Stalin uncomfortable. The fact that M K Karunanidhi declared M K Stalin his political heir-apparent recently seemed to matter little to Azhagiri.
[Also Read: Stalin meets Azhagiri, Changes imminent in DMK?]
Call it the result of the drubbing that DMK took in the bypolls or the health condition of its supremo, the heir apparent M K Stalin had to meet his ousted brother, once again, making way for speculations of his return. Whether the meeting was meant to unite a party that is fast losing ground or if it was purely personal, over their father's health, the timing of the meeting surely did very little to set the record straight on DMK's future.