Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee will be the names bandied about in the media as the big victors of this election. No denying that. But in an understated way, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, is one of the biggest winners. Under pressure for being non-committal on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, and having had to endure a split in the grand coalition that he cobbled together in the previous election, MK and the DMK were expected to fare poorly. In contrast, the ADMK was supposed to be in the ascendancy, with some “political pundits” even predicting that Jayalalithaa would play a crucial role in Government formation. Bollocks!
Winning 18 seats of their own, when their entire combine was expected to pick up only 15, the DMK has sprung a surprise and MK will ensure that Tamil Nadu gets more than its fair share of plum Cabinet posts. That is price for remaining one of the Congress’ most dependable allies. Come rain or shine, the DMK does manage to win seats. And its impressive win ratio of over 80% (18 wins from 22) is possibly the best showing across the country by any party that contested in more than ten seats.
Longevity is its own reward, but when coupled with success, it is even more delectable. At (a couple of weeks short of) 86, MK surely must be given the title, “the Grand Old Man of Indian Politics” for never ceasing to amaze.
P.S.: Apologists for the ADMK’s defeat drubbing will tell you that the DMK won because of “money power”. Which is bullshit of the first order. If that is what it takes to win an election, so be it, and it is not as if Amma is not endowed with either the wisdom or the deep pockets to win at the ballot box. And Vijayakanth stealing votes from the ADMK is against a stupid argument. You lost because you lost. Being intelligent as to the causes of an event after it happens does not change its outcome.
And folks like Vijayakanth and Chiranjeevi, you are IRRELEVANT. You are no MGR or NTR. While you can keep chipping away, that is the most you can do. Keep making movies, or just retire.
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Tags: India elections 2009