Jayalalithaa's absence, Sasikala's exit: Factors haunting AIADMK in Tamil Nadu

Jayalalithaa's absence, Sasikala's exit: Factors haunting AIADMK in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu had its debut of ‘resort politics’ after Jayalalitha’s death in 2018 after the rebellion by the OPS faction of the AIADMK.

Tamil Nadu is among four other states, including battleground Bengal, braced for crucial poll results tomorrow as covid-19 pandemic keeps the country on tenterhooks. The exit polls have indicated a win for MK Stalin-led DMK and its allies with at least 160 seats. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led government after its five years in power looks at bleak chances of returning to power.

But what brought the AIADMK to this point where retaining power seems out of question? Former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa did render a strong blow to the party. It was a loss of leadership too that almost plunged the AIADMK into crisis. While it tried to hold its act together, the cards seem to be falling apart, exit polls being an indication of that.

Losing a leader, the face of the party, and much-criticised handling of the Covid-19 pandemic also played a role in AIADMK’s plunging popularity. It’s handling of caste issues, farmer issues, growing unemployment, etc could be possible reasons for its falling out of favour among the public.

Jayalalithaa's absence, Sasikala's exit: Factors haunting AIADMK in Tamil Nadu
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Tamil Nadu had its debut of ‘resort politics’ after Jayalalitha’s death in 2018 after the rebellion by the OPS faction of the AIADMK. The merger of the two factions happened, but only with Jayalalitha’s aide Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran’s exit from the party. Sasikala was sent to jail within month’s of Jayalalitha’s death in an asset case, the reigns of the party were handed over to Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The party found itself divided into two camps, EPS on one side, rebel O Panneerselvam (OPS) on the other side. Resort politics made an emergence in the political arena. However, the party managed to hold the fort and EPS-OPS camps resolved their differences. OPS was given the deputy CM post. Despite the differences, the government sailed through the crisis. But the magic has clearly faded away as a defeat seems likely for the party in tomorrow’s results.

All the factors clubbed together, along with the anti-incumbency sentiment, pollsters have predicted the DMK-Congress combine to come to power after a decade in Tamil Nadu. The Congress is only a minor partner in Tamil Nadu though.

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