Experts Analyse What’s Next for EPS-OPS, BJP’s Interest in AIADMK
The task is not over yet for the AIADMK, with 18 MLAs still showing solidarity with the Sasikala camp.
Six months after breaking up following the death of then Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa, the two factions of the AIADMK – led by O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami – reunited on 21 August.
Panneerselvam, who had held the post of Chief Minister twice when Jayalalithaa was jailed and again after she died in December 2016, was made Deputy Chief Minister in Palaniswami’s Cabinet.
However, the task is not yet over for the AIADMK, with 18 MLAs still showing solidarity with the Sasikala camp.
The Editor-in-Chief of The News Minute, Dhanya Rajendran, believes 17 MLAs is a good number to bring the government down.
What will TTV Dinakaran do now? Will they try to bring the government down? That may not happen immediately, though, of course, the momentum is with them now as 18 MLAs are with Dinakaran. I think in the coming days we will see even the DMK moving in.Dhanya Rajendran, Editor-in-Chief, The News Minute
Although the BJP has maintained that they have nothing to do with the merger, Rajendran pointed out that in the last few months, EPS and OPS have met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at least six times.
A leader belonging to the OPS camp told me yesterday (20 August) that two senior BJP leaders, including one RSS ideologue, based out of Chennai have killed the OPS rebellion. He believes they are settling for something really less by allowing OPS to become the Deputy Chief Minister on Tamil Nadu. But they really did not have an option. There was considerable pressure on OPS to agree to these measure. So, the BJP definitely did have a stand.
Senior journalist TS Sudhir, too, agreed that the BJP played a big role in the merger, although it wasn’t out of altruism but vote share in the upcoming elections.
What we know from our sources is that the BJP is pretty keen on forging an alliance with the AIADMK. It believes that it gives the BJP a toehold in Tamil Nadu… where the BJP at this point in time doesn’t have a single MLA and less than 3 percent vote share. Obviously, it will look to increasing both the vote share as well as the number of MPs in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.TS Sudhir, senior journalist
A unified AIADMK will ensure the vote share of around 35 percent does not get split, Sudhir said, which will accrue in the combined NDA account if there is an alliance, which would give the BJP candidates a good chance to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
RK Radhakrishnan, professor, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, and Associate Editor of Frontline magazine, said that even with the merger, they will also need to win the majority in the Legislative Assembly.
Dinakaran is trying to look for some leverage in the current system. If he’s not relevant now, he will never be relevant, and that seems to be the bigger problem right now regarding the stability of the current government.RK Radhakrishnan, Associate Editor of Frontline magazine
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