68 year Amma versus 92 year Karuna, is a battle that has the results already glaring on the face. Karunanidhi, however, is passionate about his party and his victory and sees no reason why it will not break the long-drawn tradition.
However, there is a sea change in the situation now than it was in 1957 when he first contested the assembly elections. While Karunanidhi complains of increased corruption during the tenure of Jayalalithaa's chief ministrialship, he too has come across a long way to be accepted as a leader.
Karunanidhi, as is considered to be more accessible than Jayalalithaa. However, off late, he had been considered a weak leader because of his restriction to the wheelchair. Recently, he has shown great response among the youth when he went around the assembly constituencies in his customised van.
Making that as an excuse, he blasted Jayalalithaa for not even bothering to stay among her people and returning home after every campaign. He further blasted her for letting the untimely release of water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir, which led to the Chennai floods. And then doing a casual survey of the affected areas in a helicopter.
Stalin's 'Namakku Naame marathon yatra' adds to the leader's public appeal. No doubt the DMK chief is shrewd and cannot be dismissed as an old-timer, considering his active participation in Murasoli.
Interestingly, he also connects to the youth now as a vibrant digital connect has been established during the yatra. However, the scams that marr the image of the party will continue to pop up every now and then. But Karuna knows how to deal with it.
Handling the opposition
Stalin's padyatra mainly focussed on the party's 501 promises and the promises that have not been kept by the AIADMK. Incumbancy, corruption and the leader's diminishing health conditions are some of the other things that have been highlighted.
However, DMK too is not insulated from such allegations as 2G scam is not yet forgotten by the public. However experts from ge Fort St George said that corruption is not likely to be a matter of election issue, as voters are already in the habit of paying bribes to get a ration card or any certified document.
Ramu Manivannan from the department of politics and public administration, Madras University says, "If DMK comes to power, it is best to remember that it was chosen as an alternative to AIADMK, and did not hold any sentimental quotient attached to it.
Moreover, Karunanidhi is considered a better administrator than Jayalalithaa who has a wider public appeal.
Karunanidhi and Stalin, meanwhile have taken a very strong stance for the promises they have made. Creating greater access to people to their govenment and leaders, DMK is surely going to give a tough fight to the AIADMK. Add to it the fact that DMK too promises total ban of liqor and complete waiver of agricultural loans.
DMK's win in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections will not just be a record-breaking event, but it will also create a lineage for the Karunanidhi family, especially Stalin who can establish himself as a leader in his father's presence and continue to bask in that pride even after the latter's death.