Election 2006, A retrospective look!

It looks all but certain that the DMK will form the next government in the state. It is expected to form a minority government with outside support from the Congress, PMK, CPM, and CPI. Karunanidhi will become the Chief Minister of the state for a record fifth time. In spite of it being a convincing victory for the DPA, it still was one of the closest elections in our state's history. For the first time in a long time, the ruling party is expected to face a formidable opposition.

Calculated Gamble

Taking a retrospective look at the 2006 elections, it certainly comes down to some bold gambles taken by Karunanidhi that paved the way for his party’s victory. First, when Vaiko left the DPA alliance, Karunanidhi was quick to limit the damage by offering large number of seats to his allies. Convinced that this would be a close election, he made sure that his allies were happy and worked for the victory of the DMK. Second, the DMK's manifesto was a big hit among the rural masses. The free color TV offer, along with the promise of providing rice at Rs. 2 per kg certainly hit the mark with the voters. Karunanidhi made sure in his speeches that he was able to convince the people that those promises would be kept.

Major Blunders

From the ADMK's perspective this election would not have been lost for it not had been for certain monumental blunders committed by its chief Jayalalitha. The first half of her administration was a disaster from a populist stand point. She revoked all freebies that our people were accustomed to for decades. She dismissed government employees without giving a second taught. She brought the controversial anti-conversion bill that was vehemently opposed by the Christians. While a majority people might have agreed with her decisions, those groups that were affected by these decisions made sure that she would be defeated. Even though she caught up some lost ground, it was too monumental a mountain to climb.

She also committed some crucial blunders during campaigning. First her promise of providing 10 kg free rice after weeks of ridiculing the DMK's manifesto made people perceive her as losing the battle. During the final stretch she kept making promises after promises that were not in her party’s manifesto and people simple lost trust in her. Secondly, there wasn't any synergy among her alliance partners. Unlike DPA where the parties were campaigning together, there wasn't a single joint meeting among her allies. Finally, her inability to get Vijaykanth into her alliance was a big setback.

An Alternative

For the first time in almost two decades, a viable alternative has emerged. The third front as many people choose to call it is finally taking shape. It’s none other than our Captain Vijaykanth's DMDK party. Just six months in politics, he has already made a mark. Not only did he win in the Vanniyar heartland of Virrudhachalam, his party managed to get a whopping 10% vote share. His support was not from caste or religious groups, but from people who want change. Vijaykanth is certainly a force to reckon with and all parties will now take him very seriously.

Winners & Losers

The biggest winner this election is the Tamil Nadu Congress party. While the local media always ridicules the party for its groupism, it has managed put up a great show. It won in 34 out of the 48 seats it contested. Note that this is the first time the Congress is going into an assembly election after the demise of its respected leader Moopanar.

The biggest loser in this election is undoubtedly MDMK chief Vaiko. He made a big deal about DMK denying his party its rightful share. But, looking at the results it now looks like the DMK was offering him too many seats. He simply lost credibility among the masses. His personal attacks on Karunanidhi and his family were desisted by the voters of the state.

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3 comments so far

  1. Rajesh Thiagarajan on

    Your blog has been a very comprehensive election blog. Thanks for your efforts.

    Looking forward for your other blogs. Good luck.

    Rajesh

  2. Giridhar on

    Great Blog…nice work..kudos

  3. Vijay on

    Commendable work! Continue your essential services to the blogdom!


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