Choice of candidates to sway votes of TN parties
Chennai: The stance of major political parties in Tamil Nadu with regard to the ensuing Presidential elections mainly depends on the candidates fielded by BJP and the Congress, said politicians and analysts.
However, the decision of the ruling DMK in the state will be keenly watched with analysts and politicians saying that the party would slowly move towards the BJP.
Political leaders and analysts told IANS that it is a bit early to estimate the way the two major parties in the state – DMK and the AIADMK – would decide in relation to the Presidential poll.
So, whom would the BJP field?
“The BJP’s candidate could be a Muslim or a tribal person. If it is a Muslim, then the candidate could also be progressive Muslim woman,” Political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS.
According to him, such a move can bring good dividends for BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Further it would also break the Yadav-Muslim nexus.
On the other hand, to gain tribal vote share, the BJP could field a person from the tribal community as its candidate for the Presidential elections. The party has a good presence in other caste segments, Dhuraiswamy added.
“In these two situations, all the Dravidian parties including AIADMK and DMK will extend their support on the plank of secularism, social justice and also extend other supportive arguments,” he said.
This situation arises if Congress fields a candidate from a different segment.
“As regards DMK, a support to BJP candidate will give the former a chance to lower its anti-centre stance,” Dhuraiswamy said.
On the other hand, the DMK and its allies will go with the Congress candidate if it fields a candidate who matches the BJP candidate’s profile, Dhuraiswamy added.
Responding to Dhuraiswamy’s hypothesis a senior DMK leader preferring anonymity told IANS: “We may not vote at all if the Congress doesn’t field a candidate.”
On the other hand, if the BJP fields a candidate from Tamil Nadu or a Muslim or a Tribal, then the party will discuss and decide accordingly, the leader added.
According to him, even a tacit understanding with BJP will backfire on DMK.
“The party is yet to deliberate on the Presidential election now. For us, the 2024 general election is important,” the DMK leader said.
Similarly, a senior AIADMK leader preferring anonymity told IANS: “As on date, the party would vote for BJP candidate.”
Queried about BJP going away from the AIADMK alliance in the recently-concluded local body polls he said: “We have good relationship with the BJP’s national leadership.”
According to him, the DMK is taking all efforts to secure a soft corner for itself in BJP’s heart.
“As regards the President election, the BJP is in a strong position as the ruling parties in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha are not aligned with the Congress led opposition,” K.C. Palanisamy, a former Member of Parliament and who was formerly with AIADMK told IANS.
“The strategy of parties in Tamil Nadu and other southern states will depend on the BJP’s candidate. If BJP fields a Tamilian as a candidate and the Congress doesn’t field anyone, then the parties in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and in Odisha will support BJP,” Palanisamy said.
According to him, DMK President M.K. Stalin may not put any spokes on the electoral chances of that person.
“On the other hand, if BJP and Congress fields a Muslim/Tribal candidate then the parties will follow the existing alliance format,” Palanisamy said.
Be that as it may, Dhuraiswamy and the AIADMK leader were of the view that there will be cross voting by the Congress members if the party fields a candidate.