Stardust blown away in Dravidian bastion

Stardust blown away in Dravidian bastion
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Stardust blown away in Dravidian bastion

Highlights

In less than 10 days, the nation would have known who would rule the five States which had gone to polls in the last week of March, stretching on to...

In less than 10 days, the nation would have known who would rule the five States which had gone to polls in the last week of March, stretching on to the last week of April. It is anybody's guess whether there would be upsets in the form of new political formulations taking over the reins of administration affirming the widely-held belief that anti-incumbency would have affected the fortunes of the existing rulers in these States.

Tamil Nadu is one among them which would be keenly watched for the outcome it is likely to throw up. The point of interest would be whether the 10-year rule of AIADMK would get another five-year term, extending the goodwill the party seemed to have sustained during the four-year tenure it held power under Edappadi Palaniswamy after the demise of the earlier CM, the powerful J Jayalalithaa.

This is not likely to be the first of notable highlights that the State had seen during the campaigning phase, which was acrimonious and abrasive at best. For a region weaned on cine power, stocked to the brim with stars and starlets on both sides of the Dravidian parties, this election saw it showcasing this USP in the least glamourous manner. Barring Kamal Haasan, who seems to have almost quit his celluloid avatar to turn a full-time politician, other filmi personalities like Vijayakanth, Sharath Kumar, Radhika etc were missing in action.

The BJP leader, Khushbu does not join this list as she has been in politics for a longer time and has stayed away from cinema, by and large, during the past few years, making her more of a 'neta than an abhineta'. DMK's Udayanidhi Stalin too is not known as a highly successful hero in Tamil cinema and this time around, he too was content playing the understudy to his CM-aspirant father Stalin, rather than use his movie masala to attract the audiences.

Thus if full-time politicians travelled the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu to woo voters, they were not depending on their individual or ideological power alone to win over public support. Stalin's handing over of the political campaigning assignment to Prashant Kishor and his I-PAC team and his rival Edappadi K Palaniswamy requisitioning the services of a political strategist Sunil Kanugolu were clearly indications of a larger game plan of both these leaders to go for a comprehensive approach.

An assorted set of campaign techniques which included soft Hindutva and hard Dravidian re-assertion of its identity and exclusivity added spice to the war of words which was relentless on both online and offline media.

With exit polls being banned, the social media channels were content spinning out astrological predictions, secret reports of intelligence agencies and data analysis of voting patterns over the past 10 elections in Tamil Nadu.

Almost all of them are predicting the return of the existing government, while conceding that the DMK alliance would give them a tough fight. The icing on the cake is the prediction of a grand re-entry of BJP into the Tamil Nadu Assembly where it had no presence for a long time, since making its debut a few decades ago.

Speculators say the saffron party may win anywhere between 3-6 seats. Well, all this will be in public domain in just a short period as the 2021 polls is expected to herald winds of change in Tamil Nadu politics.

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