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Who will fill the void created in Tamil Nadu politics after Jayalalithaa's demise?
The last assault on Jayalalithaa's legacy is perhaps the Election Commission's decision of freezing the 'two leaves' symbol of AIADMK. The EC has also said that both factions can use the name of AIADMK but followed by their unique differentiating suffix denoting the faction's name.

Thus, Sasikala's faction named its party as 'AIADMK Amma' with the electoral symbol of a hat whereas OPS' faction named its party as 'AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma' with its electoral symbol as an electric pole. After this development, AIADMK and late Jayalalithaa's legacy has all but vanished from the state of Tamil Nadu, clearly creating a vacuum.

At the moment, DMK looks to be the sole beneficiary. But DMK can't wait for another four years to come back to power. Four years' period is really a very long time and who knows a new party might emerge by then to pose a challenge to the dominant DMK. DMK will try many tricks including dividing the present AIADMK to dislodge the Palaniswami government and try to call for a fresh election. DMK can't be blamed for they are there for politics and not charity.

I also don't see the revival of any faction of the erstwhile AIADMK because one is headed by tainted Sasikala and another is headed by an ineffective OPS. Thus, the question arises whether there is any other local party that can replace AIADMK in Tamil Nadu?

There are in fact a lot of local parties in the name of Dravid politics who have influence in small parts of Tamil Nadu. As those small parties are totally driven by individuals, I don't see any party emerging as a Pan-Tamil Nadu party. I also don't see any chance of uniting all small parties because of ego and personal differences between leaders of smaller parties.

Then, the question is, whether national parties can play a bigger role there? Congress still has its organisational structure in the state. What it needs is a mass leader who can unite the Congress party to make it a potential credible alternative. P Chidamabaram although is a big stature leader but has always been opposed by state leader Elangovan. Rahul Gandhi doesn't seem to impress upon party workers in Tamil Nadu to unite under one leader. In fact, Congress high command has never encouraged state level leaders to grow to a stature of big leaders. Clearly Tamil Nadu doesn't have a state Congress leader like Captain Amarinder Singh of Punjab. That's why I don't see re-emergence of Congress to fill the void created by Amma's demise.

BJP has also done a lot of ground work in Tamil Nadu. It has created its ground level organisation along with creating comitted cadres. RSS too is putting lot of efforts in Tamil Nadu to strengthen the saffron foothold. But the problem is that south Indian politics is always driven by cult personalities. Without a leader with strong personality and cult following no party can be a credible alternative.

Sources say that BJP is trying to bring Tollywood superstar Rajinikanth into the party. If it can succeed in inducting Rajinikanth in to the party, then with the help of its newly built organisation and freshly inducted cadre it can emerge as a strong challenger to DMK. But despite very good relations between Rajinikath and Narendra Modi, the former has not given any indication that he's interested in politics. Until that time, BJP might increase its vote share as well as get some seats but is not likely to come to a position to form the next government.

DMK, perhaps also sensing that either of the national parties could emerge in Tamil Nadu politics if the present Palaniswami government completes its tenure. That's why it's in an emergency mode. It is now moving a no confidence motion against the Tamil Nadu Speaker which might be defeated. But I guess, after RK Nagar bye-election, there will be lot of drama and hectic political parleys to destabilise the Palaniswami government.

Whatever might be the outcome in the coming days but one thing is sure that Tamil Nadu is set for more turmoil! I think nobody should be blamed for such chaos because if state politics is driven by personality cult, then the state is bound to come under distress mode after the demise of that big leader. Let's wait and see how the people of Tamil Nadu engage with the opportunistic game called politics in the times to come.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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