The TN elections are too close to call: Here is what changed in the past three weeks
New Delhi, Mar 24: It is usually said that an election can be called only after the last vote is counted.
The same could be said in the case of Tamil Nadu, where pollsters who had initially said that it would be easy pickings for the DMK, now say that the race is tighter than it was expected.
OneIndia caught up with the country's leading political scientist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri to find out what changed in Tamil Nadu over the past three weeks. He says that it is a tough battle in Tamil Nadu and it does not appear as of now that the election would be as easy as the DMK would have thought.
There are two things that have changed in Tamil Nadu. The consolidation behind the Chief Minister, E Palaniswamy has helped. O Panneerselvam has has accepted the role of EPAS and Sasikala staying away too have helped the AIADMK consolidate. Further the consolidation of the pr-Jayalalithaa vote for the AIADMK has also helped, Dr. Shastri also says.
It is interesting that the DMK is being attacked for dynasty politics. This is also to do with the fact that Stalin's son too is in the race. The result of this election would be an interesting one. We need to see whether Stalin will be the inheritor of M Karunanidhi's legacy and who will inherit Jayalalithaa's legacy, he also says.
The Tamil Assembly Elections 2021 is about the transfer of support of the AIADMK and DMK votes to the new leaders. I think, where the DMK has a slight advantage is that they are able to stitch together a good alliance. On the other hand in the case of the AIADMK many splinter groups have put up candidates on their own. Will this lead to a split of votes is a question that needs to be asked, Dr. Shastri also says.
Then there is also this traditional debate about alliance arithmetic and political chemistry. How much are Rahul Gandhi and Stalin able to show that they are together. The same is the case with the AIADMK and BJP.
On whether the AIADMK benefited had it gone in for a post-poll alliance with the BJP, Dr. Shastri says that this was about mutual convenience. The AIADMK needed the support of the BJP in the post Jaya era. The central leadership of the BJP is needed for them. I feel that the AIADMK wanted the pre-poll alliance more, he further adds.
The BJP too was in a catch-22 situation with Rajinikanth backing out. The question for the BJP was whether they wanted to build their own base or be part of an alliance. Personally for the BJP it was a tougher decision. Both BJP and Congress have got less seats in the alliance. I think the BJP bargained strongly and got the seats they wanted. In the case of the DMK, they made it clear that they could only give these many seats to their allies.
On whether the Hindi party debate would hurt the BJP and AIADMK, Dr. Shastri says that both the parties have been playing it down. Most BJP leaders in their speeches are using English and the same is being translated into Tamil. This is because the moment they use Hindi, the anti-Hindi sentiments would be drummed up.
On being asked would the AIADMK done better had they forged an alliance with T T V Dinakaran, Dr. Shastri says that it was a calculated risk that the party took. He is not so much of a force as he was made out to be. Him not being in the alliance works out better for the AIADMK, Dr. Sandeep Shastri also says.