Ahead of the Tamil Nadu elections, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and MP Kanimozhi today said there is a “strong wave” against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and “the DMK will sweep elections.”
The Tamil Nadu Assembly election will be held in a single phase on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Out of power for ten years, the DMK hopes to repeat its 2019 sweep in the state polls too.
Tamil Nadu is expected to see a contest mostly between the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), fighting back after a disastrous outing in the 2019 general election, and a resurgent DMK in the opposition.
When asked about people voting differently for state and parliamentary polls, Ms Kanimozhi said: “This (AIADMK) is a proxy government to the BJP government and they have given up all the rights of the state so that they can continue in power. They have not delivered anything to farmers and young people. They have not fulfilled anything they promised.”
There is also competitive politics between the two Dravidian archrivals. The DMK has promised a monthly payment of Rs 1,000 to housewives, free local bus rides for women, a Rs 5 cut in petrol prices and Rs 4 cut in diesel prices, subsidy for LPG and free tablets for students. On the other hand, the ruling AIADMK has promised a free washing machine, six free LPG cylinders every year, a salary of Rs 1,500 for housewives and concession for women in public transport.
“People believed Kalaignar Karunaidhi’s promise and voted. Now people don’t believe in AIADMK’s promises,” Ms Kanimozhi said.
The DMK is contesting in 174 seats but the party has given tickets to only seven women — less than 10 per cent. Director-turned politician Seeman’s Naam Thamizhar Katchi (NTK) is the only party in the state to have allotted 50 per cent of seats for women. On this, Ms Kanimozhi said: “Enacting a law for 50 per cent of reservation for women is the only way.”
When asked if parties can allot more seats on their own, she added: “No, a law appears to be the only way forward.”
This is the first election after the death of two iconic leaders J Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK and M Karunanidhi of the DMK. The election will determine the next MASS leader among Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK Chief MK Stalin and new players including MNM Chief Actor Kamal Haasan and AMMK Chief TTV Dhinakaran.
The DMK continues its alliance with the Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Indian Union Muslim League, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and a few other parties. Aiming for a third consecutive term, the ruling AIADMK continues its alliance with the BJP, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Tamil Maanila Congress and a few other smaller parties.