Alagiri mauled in own fortress, state Congress boss faces heat

Alagiri mauled in own fortress, state Congress boss faces heat

The massive mandate won by the AIADMK-DMDK-Left combine in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election has thrown up several key political pointers.

First and foremost, as the AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha put it on Friday, the people’s decisive verdict, amid widespread fears of carting money to voters by the ruling DMK, has shown that “money power has lost.”

Shocked by the comprehensive defeat, DMK President and outgoing chief minister M Karunanidhi reacted with the remark that “through this election, the people of Tamil Nadu have given me a holiday to rest. Thanks.”

Still, Karunanidhi created a new legislative record with his election to the Assembly for the 12th time now – this time from Thiruvarur in the Cauvery delta area.

Twice in the past year had he to shelve retirement plans, in the face of squabbles within the DMK’s first family as elder son and Union minister M K Alagiri did not reconcile to younger brother M K Stalin being named as political successor to patriarch. The election verdict had for now frozen the succession issue in DMK, a senior party leader said.

As the AIADMK-led combine won all across the State irrespective of the distribution of various dominant OBC castes and groups in different regions, the hardest blow to the DMK has been the breach of the ‘southern citadel’ over which Madurai-based Alagiri had virtually claimed monopoly.

In fact the DMK has virtually lost all the seats in and around Madurai and down south, giving the lie to Alagiri’s claim that that he would gift all the 58 seats from there to the DMK front. That did not happen, even as the Congress managed to win three seats in the south. Jayalalitha had, in her campaigns in Madurai and the south, told the people that the poll was a god-send to rid themselves of Alagiri’s ‘rowdy raj.’

Even more dismal than the DMK’s fall has been the strike rate of the Congress and the OBC-Vanniyars based PMK led by Dr S Ramadoss, besides the dalit outfit VCK headed by Thol Thirumavalavan.