When DMK-TMC alliance won big in 1996

During her first term, she effectively implemented the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and several arrests were made under the law.

Published: 10th March 2019 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2019 04:25 AM   |  A+A-

File photo of M Karunanidhi campaigning with Arcot N Veeraswamy (right) and Murasoli Maran (left) | Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI: J Jayalalithaa was the third Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to lose in an Assembly election. She was defeated by E G Sugavanam of DMK, a pharmacist by profession, in Bargur constituency in 1996.
Combined with multiple factors, including anti incumbency wave and coalition strength, the DMK-TMC alliance crushed the AIADMK- Congress combine. For the first time, the BJP won an Assembly seat in the State without any alliance. Besides, it was the last Parliament election in Tamil Nadu which was held simultaneously with Assembly polls.

The late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa assumed charge as Chief Minister for the first time on June 24, 1991 after registering a landslide victory in the general elections against DMK alliance. Soon after she assumed charge, she ordered closure of arrack shops in Tamil Nadu.

During her first term, she effectively implemented the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and several arrests were made under the law.

The discontent against the ruling AIADMK began to grow in February 1992 when 48 devotees died in a stampede during the ‘Mahamagam’ at Kumbakonam in which Jayalalithaa participated.Amid opposition parties’ demand for an inquiry into the incident, the AIADMK convened a conference in Madurai on June 28, 1992. While addressing the conference, Jayalalithaa said  “AIADMK did not come to power because of the sympathy wave over the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, but the support of the common public”.

Her statement embarrassed a section of Congress and some leaders openly criticised her stating that AIADMK betrayed the sacrifice of Rajiv Gandhi.On December 6, 1992, the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya triggered communal clash across India, except Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa had withdrawn the support to  the Congress government at the Centre on March 9, 1993.

Besides, Vaiko was expelled from DMK. This led to launch of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhaga (MDMK). After AIADMK came out of the alliance with Congress, the Union government appointed M Chenna Reddy, a former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, as Governor of Tamil Nadu. The Governor’s office and the State government repeatedly entered into loggerheads over many issues.

Meanwhile, a former Union Subramanian Swamy levelled corruption charges against several AIADMK ministers. In 1996, burying the hatchet with AIADMK, Congress  decided to form coaltion with it. The move erupted strong opposition from Tamil Nadu Congress Committee resulting in the launch of Tamil Manila Congress by G K Moopanar, who broke away from Congress. Also, actor Rajinikanth met PV Narasimha Rao and he urged him not ally with AIADMK.  

The election was held on May 26, 1996. The ruling AIADMK alliance was defeated by DMK-TMC alliance and even the Chief Minister  Jayalalithaa could not win and was defeated by DMK candidate E.G. Sugavanam. AIADMK won only four seats out of 234 and the alliance lost all parliamentary constituencies. At the national level, Congress lost and BJP emerged as the single largest party with 161 seats and AB Vajpayee assumed charge as Prime Minister.


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