Though history suggests that polling percentage was not high during past polls when the result was completely in favour of the Opposition party, DMK believes that the enthusiasm of the voters was proof of public frustration against the ruling party or rather alliance.
Unsurprisingly, DMK president MK Stalin on Tuesday dubbed the enthusiasm to his convenience when he said that it demonstrated the public sentiment against the AIADMK. Like pollsters, members of the DMK are busy working out the arithmetic. Even members of the fledgling Makkal Needhi Maiam of Kamal Haasan and Seeman’s Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) are eagerly waiting to see a jump in their vote share in the just concluded elections, which was largely a bipolar contest between the DMK and AIADMK.
“In the last Parliamentary elections, the new comers split the votes of AIADMK, which reduced to less than 20%. Indeed, the newcomers could split the anti-incumbency votes which we also target. By and large, they will split the AIADMK votes. At least that is what we have seen in the recent elections,” said a DMK senior on condition of anonymity.
The confidence of the DMK, going by the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, cannot be construed as misplaced as the three aforesaid smaller players jointly accounted for roughly 12 per cent votes and DMK-led alliance catapulted to nearly 54 per cent votes. The vote shares of the three proponents of change like NTK and MNK and even AMMK is likely to go up now compared to the Lok Sabha polls, but it would only make a significant favourable difference to the DMK, the senior leader added.
A DMK district secretary who studied the high poll percentage in northern and pockets of western TN said that issues like Salem-Chennai eight lane project, Vanniyar reservation and farm laws could have drawn the voters towards the polling booths to their advantage.
Strangely, it did not discourage a few skeptics in the DMK from fearing that the increase could also be due to the resourcefulness of some prominent candidates in the fray.