Lok Sabha Election 2019

PMK, DMDK lose sheen

S. Ramados

S. Ramados   | Photo Credit: C_VENKATACHALAPATHY

May still find space in fractured polity of the State

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), the two parties perceived to be game-changers for any political formation in Tamil Nadu, were routed in the Lok Sabha polls in the State.

While the outcome has put a question mark over the future of these parties, the fractured polity of the State may continue to provide them some space, especially when the Assembly elections are won on narrow margins. But they may not enjoy the clout they used to have in the past. The DMDK had, in fact, lost its vote share significantly even in 2016, but the PMK had a vote share of over 5%.

The PMK, which first tasted success in the Lok Sabha polls in 1998, has not been able to revive its fortunes in the Parliamentary and Assembly elections held since 2009.

The party propounded the politics of a pan-Tamil identity for a brief period, but took recourse to caste politics after its defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and poor performance in the 2011 Assembly elections. Interestingly, the emergence of the DMDK had also shrunk the space for the PMK, though the parties were forced to sail together out of political compulsion in 2014 and now.

Defeat in Dharmapuri

Former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who won the Dharmapuri constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, failed to retain his seat. The PMK was allotted seven seats, besides a Rajya Sabha berth in the AIADMK alliance. All its candidates were defeated, six of them by huge margins.

Making light of the defeat, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said that though there could be many reasons for the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, the people’s verdict was final. “The PMK accepts it. Though it has lost the elections, it has not lost the field. It will study the reasons for the defeat and rectify them to win in the future elections,” he said, and called upon the cadre not to worry about the defeat.

Dr. Ramadoss congratulated Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for winning nine Assembly constituencies that had secured a majority for his government. In the Villupuram constituency, the PMK’s Vadivel Ravanan lost to D. Ravikumar of the VCK, an arch rival of the party.

The DMDK, which was forced to come to an understanding with the AIADMK for four seats in the last minute, was also routed. Since the failing health of party founder Vijayakant did not allow him to play any role in the elections, it was left to his wife Premalatha to hold negotiations. But the party was also consumed by the anti-Modi wave in the State.

L.K. Sudhish, the party’s youth wing leader and brother-in-law of Mr. Vijayakant, lost by a massive margin to the DMK’s Gautham Sigamani in the Kallakurichi constituency.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 1:24:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/pmk-dmdk-lose-sheen/article27228201.ece

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