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Tamil Nadu Elections 2021 Underway; Know Everything About The AIADMK, DMK Contest

With Tamil Nadu Elections 2021 underway, know everything you need to about the contest for legacy.

Voting for 234 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu and thirty seats in Puducherry is underway, amid complaints of voter bribery from both the AIADMK and the DMK. The voting started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through Twitter, has urged people to vote in large numbers. Celebrities like Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan, his daughters Shruti Haasan & Akshara Haasan, and MK Stalin have already cast their votes.

MK Stalin-led DMK, which is out of power since 2011 in the state, is in a head-to-head battle with the ruling party AIADMK in nearly 130 constituencies. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting polls with BJP and Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in a prepoll alliance. AIADMK is contesting for 191 seats while BJP is contesting for 23 seats and PMK contesting for 20. 13.80 percent voter turnout recorded till 9 AM in the state of Tamil Nadu said Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo. On the other hand, Puducherry has recorded 16.67 percent polling till 10 am.

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Image source – Unsplash

MK Stalin who is battling BJP in the state wants to prove that he is the rightful political heir to the DMK throne by winning this election and becoming the Chief Minister, which many believe is overdue. MK Stalin took charge of the DMK after his father M. Karunanidhi’s death, and expectations from him were high. M. Karunanidhi was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for almost two decades. But in the 2019 elections, Stalin proved that he is ready to take his father’s legacy ahead, by winning the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Winning 38 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, Stalin successfully defended from the NDA that won a majority in the rest of the country to form the government. At the national level, too, this assembly poll is a sort of graduation test for Stalin. Many opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi see him as a promising catalyst against the saffron surge.

Edappadi K Palaniswami may have been an accidental Chief Minister but through his work as the Chief Minister of the state, he has only strengthened his position. But the power struggle with O Paneerselvam, the former Chief Minister and now Deputy Chief Minister, could hold him back from continuing his office. The dual leadership will be under test, first, winning the election and second and more important battling for the Jayalalitha legacy. The situation for EPS got even tougher when O Paneerselvam said that there was neither a permanent Chief Minister nor a dual leadership. Even a fairly decent performance for EPS would mean that he has not won inside the party. The struggle for Jayalalithaa’s crown would still be on. EPS would have to win and win big to become the sole and undisputed leader within the AIADMK. And obviously losing would mean, losing the administration and party leadership.

After losing the last of its Dravidian Giants, Jayalalithaa, and Karunanidhi, the 2021 assembly election is one of the most important ones in a long time. The battle is between Karunanidhi’s younger son MK Stalin, who worked in his father’s shadow for decades, and EK Palaniswami, who has only recently established himself as one of the two AIADMK’s leaders and wants to decisively end the battle with his coordinator, O Paneerselvam. The battle is going to be as intense as the campaigning in the state. More than 230 crores in cash have been seized in the state while a village demonstrated protests demanding cash. On Monday, the ruling AIADMK party complained to the chief electoral officer seeking countermanding of polls in five assembly segments, where DMK leaders are contesting. The AIADMK had alleged that cash was distributed to voters on a large scale by DMK.

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