T.N.’s electoral battleground has been open to alternative players for 25 years
While the impact of T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam and Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam on the Lok Sabha election and the Assembly bypolls remains to be seen, Tamil Nadu has, over the past few decades, provided space for a third or fourth player in electoral politics.
Senior leaders of the AIADMK and the DMK privately concede this. Over the past 25 years, G.K. Moopanar, Vaiko and Vijayakant were among those who sought to project themselves as alternative forces to the two established players. They had polled some votes, but could not emerge as winners, more so in the parliamentary elections.
DMK and AIADMK leaders argue that the same may hold good for the AMMK and the MNM, though they will end up splitting votes.
P. Ramajayam, Assistant Professor, Bharathidasan University and political commentator, says neither the AMMK nor the MNM has disowned Dravidian political discourse. “The two parties do not seem to be different in any way from the principal players in terms of their functioning or policies. Yet, they seek to project themselves as alternative forces to the DMK and the AIADMK.”