I this May 17, 2014 photo, AIADMK workers celebrate the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections at the party headquarters in Chennai.
The Hindu
I this May 17, 2014 photo, AIADMK workers celebrate the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections at the party headquarters in Chennai.

Rangasamy hints at willingness to join Union Cabinet

Plans to push for Statehood with the new Centre »
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi exchange greetings at a meeting held in New Delhi. A file photo.

Jayalalithaa congratulates Modi on ‘magnificent victory’

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said she looked forward to ‘meaningful cooperation’ between his government at the Centre and her state »
A file photo of former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Party will decide on Cabinet berth, says Yeddyurappa

"It is left to Narendra Modi and all India party leadership," Mr. Yeddyurappa told reporters here when asked whether he would be inducted in the Cabinet. »

EVMs to remain in strong rooms

The 64,190 control units and 1,14,748 ballot units used in the Lok Sabha elections will be kept in strong rooms with armed police guard for six months.Talking to The Hindu, Chief E... »

After a nine-year association with the Congress, the DMK disassociated itself from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2013 on the sensitive Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Now under the stewardship of its treasurer M.K. Stalin, who was the main hand behind the party deciding to quit the UPA, the DMK has put together, what many feel, a strategic alliance with Muslim and Dalit outfits and is thereby hoping to attract a sizeable chunk of the votes polarised due to various circumstances. While the party started the campaign on the back foot, opinion polls point to the party’s resurgence on the ground in the last few weeks. With internal squabbles in the form of sibling rivalry coming to the fore, the outcome of the Lok Sabha election would be seen as a commentary on the performance of Mr. Stalin who is likely to lead the party in 2016 Assembly polls.

Since its launch in 1972, this is the first time that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is facing the Lok Sabha polls alone. The party has fielded candidates for all the 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, resulting in a direct clash with its archrival DMK in 35 of those constituencies. While it announced a pact with the CPI and the CPI (M) in February, issues in seat-sharing saw the alliance falling through. With party leaders projecting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa as a possible prime ministerial candidate, the party is hoping to bag maximum number of seats to have its say in the formation of the next government at the Centre. The last leg of the AIADMK’s campaign also saw Ms. Jayalalithaa taking BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi head on and disputing the performance of the Gujarat model of development.

A Dravidian party-Congress combination has always been seen as a winning alliance in Tamil Nadu. But decisions of the Centre in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and a string of scams that hit the UPA in second term has isolated the Congress in Tamil Nadu. The party has entered the fray alone for the first time after 1998 and is staring at the possibility of a whitewash. The aim of the party would be to manage a respectable vote share in the 39 seats it is contesting and get back in the reckoning by 2016. In Puducherry, party candidate and Union Minister V. Narayanasamy is hoping to get re-elected.

By sewing together a multi-party alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ended its decade-long isolation in Tamil Nadu. With the DMDK, the PMK and the MDMK in its fold, the NDA, riding on the popularity of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, is looking to open its account in the State. The alliance is expected to put up a tough fight against the two principal Dravidian parties in several constituencies. A good showing may help the BJP attract allies for 2016 as well.

Since 2009, the Left parties have aligned with the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu to face elections. The trend looked set to continue in 2014 as well with national leaders of the two communist parties meeting AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa in Chennai and announcing an electoral pact in February. In fact, senior CPI leader A.B. Bardhan almost endorsed Ms. Jayalalithaa as a possible prime ministerial candidate in case of the emergence of a third front at the national level. But AIADMK snapped ties abruptly after issues over seat-sharing cropped up. Left alone, the communist parties have fielded 17 candidates in the State and one in Puducherry, and are supporting the Aam Aadmi Party and other parties in several other constituencies. While they may attract fair bit of votes in their traditional strongholds, winning seats would be a difficult task.
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