CHENNAI: With INDIA, the conglomeration of opposition parties from various states, taking firm steps towards unseating the BJP-led government at the centre and the NDA gearing up to retain power, both Dravidian majors - DMK and AIADMK - continue to have a sway over national politics, that too, in key positions in both the alliances.
DMK has been a key ally that decides the course of the opposition parties, as the party has been vociferously opposing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For AIADMK, though in alliance with the BJP, the ties were not so firm until recently due to the differences between the state leaders of both parties. Now, the BJP has bolstered its alliance by giving prominence to AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami.
However, this time, amidst speculations that the BJP has to struggle hard to get the simple majority in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the party is taking every possible step to reach out to the minor allies. Besides, BJP state president K Annamalai is launching a six-month-long yatra from Rameswaram to woo the voters, particularly the first-time voters.
The AIADMK is gearing up in a big way to make the August 20 Madurai conference of the party a great success, as EPS has to prove his mettle in the southern districts, where his bete noir OPS continues to claim that the cadre is with him. So, once again, this Lok Sabha election will turn out to be a litmus test for DMK and the AIADMK.
Political analyst Tharasu Shyam is of the view that the stature of the DMK in INDIA and the AIADMK in NDA cannot be equated. “For a long time, both parties continue to be in diagonally opposite alliances because they have to be so. But the importance given to both parties in INDIA and NDA cannot be the same. The DMK is one of the driving forces of INDIA and in fact, one of the parties which played a key role in the formation of that alliance. Besides, the DMK has a significant presence in both houses of the Parliament. But the AIADMK has no such role in the NDA. It is just an alliance partner in the NDA and has no significant presence in Lok Sabha,” he said
Senior journalist GC Shekhar said the importance for both Dravidian parties has been there for a long time. Until her death, J Jayalalithaa had a firm say over things and her own way of functioning. After her death, the AIADMK has become an ally of the BJP.
Now, BJP has realised that it needs a strong ally in Tamil Nadu and recognised Edappadi K Palaniswami as the undisputed leader of AIADMK. Both sides have invited even minor parties which have lesser electoral value because they do not want to leave any stone unturned to realise their goals in the Lok Sabha elections.