Chennai, Mar 9: All eyes are on Tamil Nadu which goes to polls. Will Jayalalithaa return to power or will the people of Tamil Nadu give Karunanidhi one last chance. It may be too early to predict for now, but the run up to the polls sure does look interesting.
What matters for now in Tamil Nadu is the manner in which alliances are stitched up. I think it is the arithmetic that will decide the political chemistry in Tamil Nadu says Dr. Sandeep Shastri, one of the country's leading psephologists.
In this interview with OneIndia, Dr Shastri says that a lot would depend on who the Vijaykanth led DMDK would align with.
How do you see the elections in Tamil Nadu shaping up?
I think that the alliance arithmetic will be what decides the political chemistry in Tamil Nadu. That has been the classic and traditional case where Tamil Nadu is concerned and I do not see it any different this time.
The BJP is in talks with the DMDK and is contemplating a third force. How does this impact the poll equations?
The DMK is with the Congress and now both want him on board with them. The BJP on the other hand is in talks with the DMDK to stitch up a third force. I feel if the third force is created then it would be advantage Jayalalithaa.
What if the DMDK goes with the DMK?
If this were to happen then it puts the DMK in a better position. The AIDMK would have to battle hard then. However for the DMK for now it is important that they get the DMDK on board.
Is the BJP a factor in Tamil Nadu?
I do not see them being a factor in the state elections. They did fare well in the Lok Sabha elections. But then that election was about the Prime Ministerial candidate. However in the state election that factor is not there and hence I do not see them making much impact in Tamil Nadu.
How do you see Jayalalithaa campaigning this time?
I feel she is going to play the martyr card a lot. She will use to her advantage that she was sent to jail unfairly in the DA case. It would be her strong point during the campaign.
Jayalalithaa's fate hangs on the Supreme Court verdict in the DA case. What would happen if it goes against her?
She will find it difficult if the verdict goes against her. She will be barred from contesting and would no longer be the Chief Ministerial candidate. The people of Tamil Nadu will not vote for her party if they realise she will not be Chief Minister. I do not think in such a scenario the sympathy factor would work also.