Chennai: As the AIADMK workers celebrated a memorable win at the hustings, the DMK cadres were left pondering as to what could have been. It was that sort of an election, too close to call, it was said but in the end the opposition DMK had to remain content with second place.
While there were no clear favourites in the run-up to the polls, there was a feeling that the multi-cornered contest would make it hard for the ruling dispensation.
Also, the ‘alternative’ option put forth by parties like BJP, PWF and PMK didn’t cut ice with the voters, it seems. Experts felt that it was due to poor strategy that DMK had to settle for second place.
“DMK would have formed the government if it had not given away too many (40) seats to the Congress, particularly when the latter is facing a hard time across the country. The party could have won at least 30-35 seats of 40 it allotted to the Grand Old Party. We did not question the decision due to the respect for the leaders,” said P Rajan (name changed), a party insider.
He further said, “Victory in 11 constituencies in Chennai is an indication of the voters’ support for us.” Besides, a section of political observers felt that People’s Welfare Front(PWF) and votes secured by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) worked against the DMK.
“The PMK took a major portion of votes from 30 constituencies including Gummidipoondi, Tiruttani, Poonamallee, Sriperumbudur and Sholingar. Though very unlikely, with a bit of compromise it would have been a good move for the DMK to rope in PMK,” said T Gopalakrishnan, a commentator.
There is an opinion that the DMK gained in the present elections due to the party treasurer M K Stalin’s “Namakku Naame” and other initiatives such as “Pesalam Vanga”. However, the experts feel the party supremo M Karunanidhi should have given way to the heir apparent.
“Kalaignar has a penchant for power. But considering his age, passing on the baton to his son would have been a game-changer in the recently concluded elections. Moreover, there would have been no differences in opinions over this decision, particularly when M K Alagiri was expelled from the party,” said Gopalakrishnan.