TTV Dinakaran's win in the RK Nagar by-elections is bound to send shivers down the spine of EPS-OPS government as it would have a significant impact on Tamil Nadu politics. It would really be premature to assume that result of RK Nagar reflects the mood of the entire state, but what is clear is that it would give Sasikala faction's claim of being "true heir of Amma" a major boost.
Not only did Dinakaran win the by-poll, he won it by a massive margin of close to 40,000 votes. It must be considered that he contested as an independent and the original AIADMK "Two-leaves" symbol was with EPS-OPS candidate E Madhusudhanan. So, it is clear that residents of RK Nagar have a clear understanding of the politics in the state and are not voting just because of the "Two leaves" symbol or the party name. EPS-OPS factions' belief that winning the symbol battle would ensure victory in RK Nagar has now been trashed.
Now, Dinakaran will leave no stone unturned to woo the MLAs backing EPS-OPS and topple the government. His win has definitely increased the chances of MLAs considering to switch sides which would mean yet another phase of political uncertainty in Tamil Nadu. Earlier this year, legislators loyal to Dinakaran had written to the Governor demanding that the Chief Minister step down, and later asked that a trust vote be held in the assembly.
After Jayalalithaa's death, Sasikala had taken charge of the party. But her chief ministerial ambitions put her on a collision course by O Pannerselvam. The party had split over the issue and the two factions merged in August only after Palaniswami, who was leading one faction, agreed to Panneerselvam's demand and evicted Sasikala and Dhinakaran.
There are two likely scenarios now after Dinakaran's win in RK Nagar. More and more MLAs may now prefer joining hands with Sasikala faction thinking that RK Nagar result reflects the mood of the state. If this happens then EPS-OPS faction will have a tough time holding on to the power. Another possibility is that, Palaniswamy may join hands with Dinakaran and shunt out Panneerselvam.
What RK Nagar result has shown is that Sasikala, Dinakaran and co. are not as undesirable as EPS-OPS faction tried to portray. This will also strengthen their claims of being the true heir of Jayalalithaa's legacy.