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Why it is not yet time to write Sasikala’s political obituary

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Mar 04: Weeks ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021, V K Sasikala on Wednesday announced that she will stay away from politics, but would pray for the "golden rule" of the late party supremo Jayalalithaa.

"I will stay away from politics and keep praying my sister Puratchi Thalaivi (Jayalalithaa), whom I consider as God, and the Lord Almighty for the establishment of the golden rule of Amma," Sasikala said in a statement.

Why it is not yet time to write Sasikala’s political obituary

While many say that this was a surprise move, others argue that this was always in the offing. OneIndia caught up leading psephologist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri to discuss the outcome and possible fallout of such a move just before the elections.

Dr. Shastri says that he does not find this move to be surprising. In fact, I found it to be shrewd, he says.

After coming out of jail, she has assessed the situation and had she decided to take the plunge, she would not have achieved much. In fact she would have lost whatever little support she has, Dr. Shastri says.

Sasikala has realised that to go after the DMK is more important for her political stature, while also siding with the AIADMK. She has in fact spoken about Jayalalithaa's legacy and offered support to the AIADMK, he also said.

By making the announcement, she has bought peace with the organisation and now she will wait for the right moment to strike back. Currently all reports indicate that the DMK is in the upswing. If the AIADMK were to lose the elections under the current leadership, she would then strike and try regain her leadership, Dr. Shastri points out. She is waiting for the right moment to come back, he also said.

Hence, I would call her decision to stay away from politics as not her political obituary.

Sasikala's decision has definitely improved the prospects of the AIADMK, but the question that remains is from where. Post Jayalalithaa's demise, there is been a dip in terms of support and popularity for the AIADMK. If the BJP were to nudge the AIADMK to enter into a truce with T T V Dinakaran, it would be a more formidable force as there would be no division of the pro-Jayalalithaa votes. However, the question is will that be enough for the party to challenge the DMK. Will this truce be enough for the AIADMK to claim the legacy of Jayalalithaa, Dr. Shastri asks.

As I see it now, the faith in M Karunanidhi has more or less been transferred to Stalin. However in Tamil Nadu, a lot depends on alliance arithmetic and caste calculus. When it comes about the doling of freebies to bag the votes, this has been happening for long now, Dr Shastri says.

Freebies take time to reach the people and hence doling them out before an election does not really help. While freebie politics has been happening visibly, the delivery is also important. There is ample evidence to show that freebies doled out just before an election does not have much impact, Dr. Sandeep Shastri also says.

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