The DMK-led front has swept the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 out of 38 seats for which polls were held. But it has turned out to be a pyrrhic victory for DMK president M K Stalin as the AIADMK has won nine out of 22 Assembly seats, giving the two-year-old Edappadi Palanisami Government a simple majority of 118 in the 234-member house, and thereby giving it a fresh lease of life.
Both calculations of Stalin have gone wrong. Rahul has lost and Modi has returned with a thumping majority.
The AIADMK has only one seat and Modi cannot support it even as the BJP has won 303 and with the NDA allies, it has 350, a two-third majority.
Unlike Janata Dal(U) and Biju Janata Dal which helped the BJP win in a big way in Bihar and Orissa, the AIADMK alliance has proven to be a drag on Modi.
The Edappadi Government has survived since the death of AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016 thanks to Modi who saved the party from split and from going into the hands of her aide Sasikala ‘s clan, particularly T T Dinakaran who has incidentally drawn a blank both in the LS polls and 22 crucial Assembly byelections.
To ensure the continuance of the protection of the Godfather, Edappadi and his Deputy O Pannerselvam are leaving for New Delhi on Saturday, to plead with Modi to include the AIADMK in the Government.
Modi may not be averse to it as the AIADMK has sizable numbers in the Rajya Sabha and that may help him carry out core Hindutva policies like abolishing triple talak and repealing Art 377 giving special status to Kashmir until the BJP itself gets majority in the next biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha.
Modi had put these issues on the back burner by convincing big brother RSS that these measures need amendment of the Constitution for which the BJP needed two-third majority. Now that he has got, the RSS may pressurise him to give to these issues.
It is here the immediate support of the AIADMK may be needed though the BJP itself can get majority in the Rajya Sabha in the next biennial elections.
Modi’s patronage for a corrupt, unpopular government was one reason why all its BJP five candidates lost.
The best course will be for Modi to let this Government go so that, after a spell of President rule, the BJP can have a go in the eventual Assembly elections.
The BJP was equally weak in West Bengal and yet it has won 18 out of 42 seats. It is State-level BJP leaders Tamil Nadu who had advised him against going it alone even in the just concluded elections.
Having got a massive mandate from almost the whole of India, Modi will surely turn attention to expanding base in South. Here he can tap into the Tamil Nadu people's longing for an alternative to the DMK and the AIADMK.
Stalin projected Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister face on the simplistic assumption that he could repeat the strategy of his father M Karunanidhi who enabled the Congress under Sonia Gandhi to come to power in 2004 and in return got plum posts at the Centre.
With Rahul routed and Modi having won the biggest ever margin, Stalin has a long struggle ahead to force the AIADMK Government to prove its majority as it will not resign on the basis of its performance in the Lok Sabha polls and cite in its defence its win in by-election though here again 13 seats have gone to the DMK.
Stalin has called a meeting of newly elected MPs at Arivalayam on Saturday to take stock of the situation.