The 15th Legislative Assembly had representatives only from three major recognised parties – AIADMK, DMK and Congress, besides there was the lone AMMK MLA TTV Dhinakaran as independent and a lonely member representing the Indian Union Muslim League.
However, the equations have changed this time where five parties have reopened their account on their symbols after a long time. The current Assembly has members from eight registered parties and there are parties like MDMK, Tamilaga Vaazhurimai Katchi and Manidhaneya Makkal Katchi which won from the DMK symbol.
It is a huge gain for the national party BJP, since 2001 with four MLAs in the current Assembly. For the Left parties, it is a comeback election and the VCK now has four MLAs, which is an all-time high for the party that banks on Dalit empowerment. The Vanniyar dominated PMK had also won five Assembly seats from a zero in the previous poll.
The AIADMK under the dual leadership of O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami has enough MLAs to play the role of strong Opposition. In my views the Assembly sessions will be more lively with debates and arguments questioning the ruling DMK, said former AIADMK MLA K Srinivasan.
Now with more MLAs from smaller parties getting elected, the Speaker will have to give adequate time for all the political parties and this is a good trend for democracy. The ruling DMK is comfortable above the majority mark of 118 and the AIADMK with 66 MLAs will pose a tough Opposition. Adding diversity, the Left has four MLAs and there are national parties like the Congress and the BJP,” opined political commentator R Mani.