In a little over four months since forming government, Chief Minister MK Stalin has rendered the political game plan of right wingers and Tamil nationalists in the state redundant by asserting his ideological moorings.
The BJP, which has been consistently critical of the nationalistic credentials of the DMK, has been reduced to welcoming the ruling party honouring VOC, Bharathiyar and even declaring rationalist ‘Thanthai’ Periyar’s birth anniversary as social justice day and that too in the Assembly.
Equally significant was the statement of NTK leaders, who, from criticising the ruling party, have now gone on to endorsing the incumbent government. NTK has done as much as making statements suggesting that the DMK was only doing what they were proposing.
Barring the conduct of NEET on Sunday and delay in implementing a few schemes promised in the poll manifesto, the Opposition has been found wanting on criticising the government with substance.
Taking on the embargo on Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations and non-reduction of diesel price, unmindful of their party led Union government increasing fuel price and even advising state’s against allowing public celebration of Chathurthi owing to COVID spread, the state unit of BJP had little ammunition to add fire to its political discourse.
With regard to the AIADMK, except crying political vendetta over Kodanad murder-cum-heist case gaining pace and repeal of Jayalalithaa University Act, the principal Opposition party had not uttered much to turn the public sympathy against the ruling dispensation. Instead, the AIADMK, especially its convener O Panneerselvam has generously praised the DMK government on more than a few instances. That former AIADMK minister KA Sengottaiyan recorded in the Assembly that he has not seen the House run in such a dignified manner in the recent years was testament to the ruling party pulling the wind out of the sails of the Opposition.
A DMK senior said; “What vote will we gain or lose by felicitating VOC or Bharathiyar. Nothing. Reclaiming cultural pride or celebrating Tamil’s antiquity is the duty of any government. We are only doing that. Attributing political motives to raising memorials is not healthy politics.”Dravidian scholar VM Subagunarajan said; “I don’t consider it as blunting any party’s politics. I do not consider it as a move of Stalin the individual even. Federalism and Dravidian movement are the fitting counter to the right wing upsurge. The DMK led regime is only travelling on its natural ideological path. It invariably will make the right wingers irrelevant in Tamil Nadu’s political space.”