GKM, PC prove their point

For Tamil Maanila Congress leaders Mr G.K.Moopanar and Mr P.Chidambaram the victory for their front must taste doubly sweet. The overwhelming mandate comes as a vindication or their stand vis-a-vis alliance with AIADMK which was the only bone of contention between them and the Congress high command. In the process the infant party floated just on the eve of elections thanks to P.V. Narasimha Rao, has crossed several milestones and demolished many myths.

Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao must now be cursing the day he took the fateful decision to align with the AIADMK. For, as it appears now, Tamilnadu has proved to be his nemesis. The impact of the loss of 39 seats in Tamilnadu will be more striking once the counting of votes ends and counting of seats begins. And above all he does not have a Moopanar beside him to ‘manage’ the unruly Congmen to keep the party with him, leave alone forming the government.

The issue of alliance in Tamilnadu has been a much debated one ever since AlADMK chief Ms Jayalalitha unilaterally snapped ties with the Congress. Soon after, the Congressmen in Tamilnadu took the lean over more than the DMK in unleashing an anti-Jayalalitha campaign, both inside and outside the Assembly.

Narasimha Rao’s silence did encourage the Congressmen to think that the Prime Minister was after all inclined in their favour. This optimism continued till the end and ‘the decision’ did come as a rude shock to Mr Moopanar and Mr Chidambaram. A feeling of betrayal was quite evident and the overwhelming backlash against the high command’s decision at the TNCC headquarters clinched Moopanar’s option in favour of a now party. To join hands with the DMK was the only way out and the right thing to do it if they were to keep Jayalalitha out. Of course now we know how right they were!

The voting pattern as is unfolding reveals an interesting phenomenon. In several constituencies, the TMC has polled a higher tally of votes than the undivided Congress had done it earlier elections. This gives rise to a speculation as to what would have been the situation had the Congress gone it alone. While the Prime Minister is guilty of a miserable miscalculation both in numbers as well as reading people’s pulse, Mr Karunanidhi has reaped rich rewards by shrewd political manoeuvning without giving away much.

For Mr G.K. Moopanar and Mr Chidambaram who had spent decades of their political life as loyal soldiers of the Congress, the painful decision of quitting the Congress has to a great extent been assuaged by the people’s verdict. Both of them had a point to prove, truly have done it emphatically, and beyond all reasonable doubt.

In the everchanging political scenario, the question of alliance can never be judged from the point of view of right or wrong. It was never Mr Moopanar’s argument that the Congress should align with the DMK. He has gone on record saying that the Congress should in fact go it alone. Had Mr Narasimha Rao taken such a course even a defeat would have been more honourable. Having used Mr Moopanar for all his trouble shooting activities in several States and acting on his advice on many occasions, it was indeed a betrayal on the part of the Prime Minister that he should ignore the TMC leader’s advice regarding his own State.

Similarly there could also be no doubt about Mr Chidambaram’s role as a staunch Congress loyalist as well as a torch-bearer of the liberalisation programme. To ignore these two leaders’ genuine feeling and make a mockery of their judgement of the Tamilnadu voters’ mood has cost Narasimha Rao dearly.

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Jawahar T R