Tamil Nadu: Is AIADMK in a losing alliance with BJP-PMK? Piyush Goyal’s victory sign is premature
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, PMK had entered into an alliance with BJP and Vijaykanth’s DMDK. Both PMK and BJP won only a single seat each and DMDK was routed
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal came out of a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy smiling like a Cheshire cat. They announced the sealing of the deal with AIADMK and Goyal, in momentary glee, said the alliance would win all 40 seats, indicating that they would win the 39 seats of Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry.
AIADMK is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance with both BJP and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). PMK will contest in seven seats and BJP has got five in the alliance, ensuring AIADMK will contest in 27 seats. But what all of them forgot was their history.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, PMK had entered into an alliance with BJP and Vijaykanth’s DMDK. They had contested in eight seats and won only from Dharmapuri constituency. The party chief Anbumani Ramadoss had won it. In six seats, they came third and in another the party was trailing at fourth and in this seat, they had lost their deposit too. PMK gets most of its votes from the Vanniyar community-dominated northern and western regions of the state.
The party, in 2014, was in fact set to lose its party symbol,a mango, because according to the election commission, any party which fails toget at least six per cent of the total votes polled would lose its party symbol.It had polled only 4.45% of the votes.
Overlooking this, Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Convenor O Panneerselvam (OPS) termed their alliance with PMK a “victorious alliance”. OPS had even forgotten than Ramadoss had written a book ‘The Kazhagam’s Story: AIADMK from the beginning till now’ detailing the corruption allegations against Jayalalithaa, O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswamy.
BJP which has been given five seats in the alliance had contested in nine seats in 2014. They had lost in all the seats except one. Their candidate Pon. Radhakrishnan had won from Kanyakumari. All their other candidates came up a cropper.
During the Assembly elections in 2016, PMK went to polls alone and contested in all the 234 seats. They didn’t win even a single seat. In fact, their CM candidate Anbumani Ramadoss was also routed in Pennagaram. Their candidates lost their deposit in 212 seats, that is 91% of the seats. According to analysts, they had contested in all the seats to retain their vote share.
In 2016, BJP had contested from 234 seats and they lost in all. They had lost their deposit in 180 seats too. In fact, even the TN BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan was routed. She had then congratulated her party for having increased their vote share by 0.6% from 2.2% in 2011 to 2.8% in 2016.
The only party whose candidates did not forfeit their deposits in the Assembly elections were those from DMK; all the 176 candidates fielded by the DMK managed to retain their deposit. Data analysis has shown that two of the candidates of the ruling AIADMK had also lost their deposits.
Why would ruling AIADMK enter into an alliance with losing PMK and BJP is anybody’s guess. It has been reported that the ruling party has been toeing the BJP line ever since the death of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa. Several IT raids were conducted on organisations deemed to be close to the Chief Minister EPS and ministers SP Velumani and P Thangamani, both of whom were involved in sealing the alliance.