ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vanquishing of the DMK

Astute alliance building and public resentment over corruption turned the tide in favour of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

The outcome of the Tamil Nadu elections did not surprise many, but it was the sweep of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) that astonished everyone, including perhaps the victors. It was a wave but it was not one occasioned by a single factor; a combination of factors – resentment over corruption in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) “family”, alliance arithmetic and voter unhappiness about everyday issues – affected a landslide that all but obliterated the DMK-Congress alliance. If there is a message in the Tamil Nadu vote, it is that a small number of welfare measures, the promise of postelectoral handouts and attempts at bribing voters with cash do not by themselves make a recipe for electoral success.

Despite the DMK government’s many welfare measures, the party was not able to return to office. The general perception of the party and its ally, the Congress, was that both of them were corrupt, the former in power in the state and in coalition with the latter at the centre. The 2G scam in which former union minister for telecommunications A Raja of the DMK played a major role also weighed heavily on voters’ minds. The widening grip of the family of DMK chief M Karunanidhi in many sectors of business in the state only strengthened views about the extent of corruption.

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