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No Maha Koottani in TN...

The dates for election to the Assemblies in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal during April – May have been announced. Grouping and re-grouping of alliances are being worked out. In Tamil Nadu there were initial talks of a maha ghatbandhan on the lines of Bihar to group together parties in opposition to the ruling AIADMK. But with over-sized ambition of the regional parties with each staking the claim for chief ministership, such a mega alliance did not fructify.

This essentially would mean an advantage to AIADMK that won 37 of the 39 seats it contested for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. Splitting of votes among the contesting parties should be to the advantage of AIADMK, which is estimated to have a solid following of over 35 per cent of voters. The extensive freebies provided, the Amma canteens that sell highly subsidised food in the major cities of the state and the quick distribution of relief through bank accounts for vast sections of the districts affected by the torrential floods have strengthened the following for the ruling party. There are thus expectations of its solid base remaining intact.

However, for close to three decades, there has been a strong anti-incumbency pattern of voting that has been working to precision in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala. In this the AIADMK and the DMK have been voted to power in alternate elections to the state assembly. The sizeable sections of non-partisan and undecided block of voters have been traditionally throwing their weight against the ruling party. Still on the balance the scattering of votes among the six blocks of contestants seems to favour AIADMK.


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