The question is NOT How Jayalalitha won the elections in TN, but How did DMK lose in TN?
Let’s go back to some of the fundamental assumptions which preceded the elections in TN.
1. There is anti incumbency, as historically since 1984, TN voters have never re-elected the party which ran the Govt.
2. Both the veterans Dr. M. K and Dr. J.J have not been keeping well, so if not now, the persons who had proclaimed themselves as CM candidates in this election, would have a head start in the next
3. Dr. Anbu was the first who declared himself as a CM Contestant, forcing the hands of Vijayakanth, thereby putting paid for the hopes for an alliance of DMK with DMDK.
4. Once VAIKO cobbled up his Naidu/Dalit/Communist platform, Vijayakanth’s past vote percentage gave him the primacy to lead the alliance.
It is in this background that the elections in TN was fought.
In effect, since Dr. MK didn’t want to alienate his cadres and also rouse Azhagiri’s overt resistance, he declared himself the CM candidate of the DMK.
In effect, it was suspected that Stalin was trying to upstage Dr. MK in a future date, after an imagined win by DMK.
BJP and the Congress did not make any open announcements, as the former was constrained by self doubts, and the latter had split into TMC of Vaasan and the other by Elangovan.
So Vaasan fell in line with VAIKO and in effect there was Dr.JJ as the only serious candidate and the rest were either a pretext for someone else – like Dr. MK was for Stalin. The rest were all pretenders wanting precedence in the next elections.
For political parties it is strategy and vote banks – nothing else matters.
Voters may not be serious but they are sincere. They found that except for Dr. JJ, there was NO OTHER SERIOUS CM CANDIDATE IN THE FRAY IN TN 2016!
Without sincerity there is no such thing as a promise . If one is NOT sincere about wanting to become the CM of TN, how can one trust the promises made by him/her?
No doubt, Dr.JJ moves slowly, but her clarity in expression and request to the people of TN for their votes, based on citing her past performance had a RING OF SINCERITY, if not a ring of truth to it. However, Dr. MK’s request was a benami transaction of seeking vote for Stalin, and at his will could hand over, if not forced to hand over, the reins of the government if DMK won. Dr. MK’s voice had the telling gruffness, but not the clarity. In effect, the people of TN had to choose someone who sounded sincere and that left her as the only choice, with a dash of sympathy – as they saw her combativeness and imperiousness had subsided and Sincerity stood out, albeit with a tinge of arrogance.
Therefore, essentially in TN if anyone asks for power with Sincerity, people do favourably consider that.
One of the main reasons for a strong showing was DMK’s guiltless promise of economic revival coupled with relentless effort. Why “guiltless”? because DMK felt that the scam allegations have already been paid for, in the form of the 2014 parliament elections. That was not entirely correct, people remembered the allegations as much as the 20 year old allegations against Dr. JJ for her amassing of wealth. But DMK cadres are not prone to introspection unlike the not so belligerent AIADMK, consequently, DMK’s campaign was vibrant, full-throated & remorseless. This gave an impression that DMK had won over the media, it seemed more as cornering the media space than fairly playing the game.
TRANSFERENCE of Congress votes was total in favour of DMK, but DMK votes in favour of Congress was dismal. Probably, post win DMK did not want a congress with 25-30 MLAs, if DMK itself hit only 100 MLAs- that would make DMK vulnerable, which was the case in 2011, which invited a refrained jibe of “minority Govt” from Dr. JJ! This obviously cost DMK a strike at the power, unfortunately, DMK WHICH IS PRONE TO EXTROVERSION IS UNABLE TO SEE IT, MUCH LESS ADMIT IT!
PROHIBITION, was not DMK agenda brought before the Tamil electorate, it was Dr. Ramadoss’ initiative, borrowed and drum-beaten as a tool against Dr. JJ ! Dr JJ couldn’t have agreed to total prohibition, as the parties would have asked her to implement it immediately, as she was in power. Therefore she came up with the “phased manner” concept, which probably went down well with the regular TASMACers! Who knows if the differential percentage was those who apprehended prohibition ? Maybe, DMK lost on that count too.
To say that this election was without anti incumbency is a fraud, the reality seems that SINCERITY, TRANSFERENCE and PROHIBITION went against the DMK and nullified the anti incumbency gains.