2019 elections: Major rejig in AIADMK, DMK after poll results

Chennai: Fireworks are in store in the ruling AIADMK and the main Opposition DMK after the election results are announced 23 May, as the high command of these Dravidian majors have received complaints from cadres about non-performers and cheats.

Heads of some seniors too may roll, if one were to go by what sources in these parties say.

It is learnt that though the leadership of the AIADMK and DMK were liberal in spending in the run-up to the elections, the funds did not reach the grassroots-level workers.

“This is because of the channels in-between. Some of the office-bearers took the lion’s share of the money and distributed very little to workers. This was reflected in poll-related works and had an impact on voting too. Upset with this, cadres from various parts of Tamilnadu have reached out to the high command with their grievances,” according to sources.

As far as the AIADMK was concerned, the common grouse was that despite knowing fully well that this was a do-or-die battle – since results for the by-polls in the 18 Assembly constituencies would decide the continuation of the party-led government – there was lethargy among the functionaries in some areas.

“This was not the case earlier when Amma (Jayalalithaa) was at the helm of affairs. Due to sheer fear, everyone – from ministers to district secretaries to vatta seyalalar (local area in-charge) would give their best. Because, consequences would be heavy if the party was defeated. But the friendly approach of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam was taken for granted by a few seniors. They should start cracking the whip,” says an AIADMK insider.

According to a DMK member, “The party is not in power for the past eight years and cadres are a worried lot. However, a few district satraps, enjoying posts for many years, are not at all bothered about this. Their only concern is that none should emerge strong in their area and no one should get close to the leadership. So, they tried all sorts of nasty tricks before the polls. If this is the case of DMK’s own candidates, imagine the plight of contestants from its alliance partners.”

In some areas, it is alleged that DMK office-bearers were ‘bought’ by those in the AIADMK.

Though complaints from loyal workers have already reached the DMK and AIADMK high command, they are now keeping calm, waiting for the election results and the 19 May by-poll in four Assembly constituencies to get over.

Strong action is expected to be taken against ‘betrayers’ either by the last week of May or first week of June.

M Bhaskar Sai