Disproving the predictions of exit polls, 68 year old AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa is back to power for a second consecutive term
Like her mentor and founder of AIADMK, MG Ramachandran, J Jayalalithaa has repeated the feat. After a gap of 32 years, she is the second incumbent CM to win the polls after MGR. She becomes Chief Minister sixth time.
The 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls are different from other states. Here the money, freebies played a key role in deciding the winning factor. It was not fought on major people oriented issues. Freebies were projected in both DMK and AIADMK manifestos to woo the voters in their sides. The poll pundits as well intelligence agencies have failed once again to gauge the mood of the voters. Their predictions have totally gone awry.
In the just concluded TN polls, there was no perceived anti-corruption wave against DMK that was seen in the 2011 assembly election or any indication of strong anti-incumbency against the ruling AIADMK. While both AIADMK and DMK announced a bunch of freebies, including smart gadgets and farm loan waivers. It forced the Election Commission to intervene. It issued notices to both DMK and AIADMK to reveal the means of resources to fund them. It has brought the importance on pragmatism of populist measures and its prioritisation keeping aside the issues like infrastructure development and job creation in the state.
Despite corruption charges and inability to effectively carry out the rescue and relief operations during December 2015 deluge, Jaya’s popularity has been making upswings. For the second election in a row, Jayalalithaa has benefitted immensely from a fractured political field. She has fought the polls alone, leaving no alliance options for smaller parties, to whom the DMK remains anathema. Captain Vijayakant led PWF drew a blank in this election. People rejected his anti-Hindutva and Muslim appeasement policies. The Self proclaimed King Maker Vijayakanth now become a King joker.
For the first time in recent years, the state has witnessed a multi-corner contest smaller parties have not joined hands with the DMK or the AIADMK, hoping for an opening in a state the two parties have dominated. The PMK and BJP, which charted its separate courses, could not halt the Dravidian juggernaut. “The paid opinion and exit polls, concerted efforts by DMK and its media with false propaganda against AIADMK could not stop Amma's victory march,” said an AIADMK leader. PMK CM candidate Dr Anbumani Ramadoss and Naam Tamizhar Katchi CM aspirant Seeman were defeated in the hustings. “MK Stalin's campaign strategy could not get enough votes to dethrone Jayalalithaa. This time, he managed well in selection of candidates, social media campaign and meeting with media barons before polls but results proved otherwise,” pointed out a political pundit. But DMK Chief Karunanidhi has won 13th time, which is a history and he never tasted defeat.