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Thorny Way Ahead

Thorny Way Ahead
Highlights

The demise of J Jayalalithaa marks an end of an iconic era of Tamil Nadu politics. Like her political mentor M G Ramachandran, she too had not named her political successor.  

The demise of J Jayalalithaa marks an end of an iconic era of Tamil Nadu politics. Like her political mentor M G Ramachandran, she too had not named her political successor.

O Paneer Selvam who earlier officiated as stop-gap Chief Minister was the obvious choice for the time being.

But, he doesn’t seem to be having political acumen to carry the party along in wake of any internal political upheavals.

No other leader of AIADMK can match the personal charisma or political popularity of its iconic leaders.

The opposition DMK hopes for bright prospects due to the void created by the exit of the indomitable rival.

But, the DMK is too caught unprepared to cash in on the post Puratchi Thalaivi political landscape.

After a protracted family feud, the leadership crisis in DMK seems to be settled with M Karunanidhi naming his son MK Stalin as his political heir.

But, he is no match to his father’s popularity or political capabilities. Thus, both the Dravidian parties are compelled to acclimatise to the generational shift in their leadership.
However, there is more clarity in the DMK succession plan.

But, as Jayalalithaa did not have any dynastic rollout, AIADMK has to undergo a thorny transition to remain together.

Many individuals and groups within are working at cross purposes. Though there is no imminent threat, the political observers do not rule out the possibility of a split in the party.

The only consolation for the ruling party is that it is in the early part of the five year tenure. No politician would like to take a risk of losing power.

The national political parties are marginalised in the Tamil politics rocked by regional chauvinism.

The Congress is with the DMK. It is not in power either in the state or at the centre. The only other all India party that can fish in the troubled waters is the BJP.

The BJP would certainly be keen on exploiting any schism in the AIADMK. The AIADMK has crossed the early hurdle by ensuring a smooth transition in the hour of grief.

Such apprehensions over the future of political parties built around personality cult are obvious.

Unless such parties reinvent themselves, it is difficult to survive in the political cauldron. But, the AIADMK despite being a party woven around charismatic leaders has a massive network of units across the state.

The strong political apparatus that extends to the grassroots level provides it with the strength to tide over the challenging times.

Jayalalithaa had to wage an unparallel physical and political struggle to assert her position in the MGR’s legacy. She emerged as the tall leader on her own.

But, the present successor to her lacks this political sagacity and personal courage. He finds his place as a follower of Amma.

Only time will tell how the AIADMK reconciles to the strange difference in this historical parallel.

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