CHENNAI: The decision of V.K. Sasikala to keep away from politics has altered the electoral equations for the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK fronts in Tamil Nadu, said analysts. They also say that Sasikala's decision benefits AIADMK for the present.
Sasikala, the close aide of Tamil Nadu's late Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said she would keep herself away from politics and would pray to the God and also to late Jayalalithaa for the establishment of 'Amma' government in the state.
In AIADMK and political circles the term Amma denotes Jayalalithaa. Political analysts told IANS that if Sasikala's decision to keep away from politics is temporary or permanent will be known on March 15 when her case for announcing her to be the General Secretary of AIADMK comes up for hearing in a local court.
Analysts are of unanimous view that if she tells the court on March 15 that she would withdraw her case then her decision to keep away from politics is in a way permanent.
"Her intent will be known if she withdraws or does not withdraw the case. If she does not withdraw then her real intent of the announcement will be clear," Sriram Seshadri, political analyst said.
Be that as it may, Sasikala's current decision will benefit the ruling AIADMK. "The AIADMK may not see any exodus of members who fail to get a chance to contest in the April 6 assembly polls. There will be stability in the party at least till the elections are over," an analyst told IANS preferring anonymity.
Seshadri said Sasikala's appeal to the followers of Jayalalithaa to keep her legacy going and to keep DMK out of power is a signal to vote in favour of AIADMK and not AMMK floated by her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran. There will be some consolidation of votes in favour of AIADMK.
The analysts also say Dhinakaran though may seem to be the probable loser, his AMMK might contest in some pockets instead of all the 234-constituencies.
"While DMK seems to enjoy an electoral edge over AIADMK, Sasikala's announcement has slightly blunted that even in its stronghold regions like the Delta and North Tamil Nadu," Seshadri said.
According to him, if Congress with about five per cent vote share exits DMK coalition over sharing of seats the latter will find the going difficult. "The Congress' vote share always gets transferred to DMK candidates. If Congress joins the coalition headed by Kamal Haasan's MNM party then DMK's vote share will come down," he added.
On the other hand, if Sasikala's decision to stay away from politics is only temporary then her prospects of gaining control of AIADMK depends on the number of seats bagged by the latter.
"If AIADMK wins 70-75 seats and loses the elections then Chief Minister and Joint Coordinator K.Palaniswami would continue to hold control over the party. Members of Dhinakaran's AMMK may switch over to AIADMK. But if AIADMK loses badly winning 30 and odd seats then he will lose control and Sasikala may gain it," Seshadri said.
Sasikala who was jailed in a corruption case for four years in Bengaluru, came out recently and has been claiming to be the General Secretary of the ruling AIADMK. She had the AIADMK party flag on the car in which she had travelled from Bengaluru to here.
Soon after her release from the jail Sasikala had said that she would get into politics. The BJP had tried to bring her into AIADMK or the AMMK party into the AIADMK led coalition.
However Chief Minister Palaniswami and others had opposed that move. Soon after Jayalalithaa's death, all the AIADMK party leaders had requested to become the party's General Secretary and later she was elected for the post. Subsequently, the Supreme Court upheld the trial court's decision of pronouncing her guilty in the corruption case and sentencing her to a four year jail term. (IANS)