DMK’s hold on Congress likely to tighten

May 16th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Mani Shankar Aiyar By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, May 16 (IANS) The poor showing of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections from Tamil Nadu will enable its ally DMK to further tighten its hold on the former, say political analysts.

Many leading lights of the Congress, including union ministers like E.V.K.S. Elangovan and Mani Shankar Aiyar, have lost in the elections. Even union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had a very close shave against his AIADMK opponent Raja Kannappan in his home constituency Sivaganga.

The DMK-Congress-VCK alliance won 27 of the 39 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry’s sole Lok Sabha seat, Election Commission officials announced Saturday.

Alliance leader DMK contested in 21 and won 18, the Congress contested in 15 seats but won seven while the VCK won one out of the two it contested and IUML won the lone seat where it put up a candidate.

A state-level Congress leader, not wanting to be quoted, told IANS: “It is natural for the DMK to have a stronger say in the state.”

BJP leader H. Raja told IANS: “DMK’s dominance over the Congress in the state will now increase as its regional leaders, including union ministers and the state party chief, have lost in the Lok Sabha elections.”

Political analyst Cho Ramaswamy told IANS: “The Congress leadership at the centre had never bothered about its state unit. It was focussed on getting sufficient numbers to form a government at the centre.”

He said the result would allow the DMK to have a strong say at the centre for the next five years.

There are already reports that the party will seek a ministerial berth for M.K. Azhagiri, K. Kanimozhi and Dayanidhi Maran.

Raja attributed the Congress’ poor showing to DMK workers not helping its ally’s candidates after Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the party was open to aligning with likeminded parties, including the AIADMK.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK with 96 MLAs runs the government with the support of the Congress’ 34 MLAs.

D. Sudharsanam, leader of the Tamil Nadu Congress legislature party, told IANS: “The party floated by Kongu Vellalar Gounders impacted the Congress candidates’ fortunes in Erode, Coimbatore and Tiruppur. In Mayiladuthurai, the MMK party has split the Muslim votes, costing the seat to the party.”

The AIADMK-led front comprising the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the MDMK bagged 12 seats.

The PMK, part of the AIADMK-led alliance, lost all the seven seats it contested.

While the AIADMK’s dream of having a large say in national politics has got shattered, the consolation is that the five year drought of not having any representation in the Lok Sabha has ended now. It too can now dictate terms to its allies.

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