- The AIADMK is going through an identity crisis, and the RK Nagar by-poll may hold the key.
- TTV Dinakaran (Sasikala's nephew) and Deepa Jayakumar (Jaya's niece) are contesting the by-poll.
- Depending on who wins the by-poll (perhaps even the DMK), TN's future politics will play out.
"I will win RK Nagar by-poll by a margin of 50000 votes," said TTV Dinakaran to several television channels. One can't help but remember the fact that the Iron Lady (Former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa) won the same constituency in 2016 by a margin of 39k votes.
"Dinakaran is confident or perhaps over-confident," said senior journalist TS Sudhir.
All said and done, TTV Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, stepped onto this pedestal accidentally and the glaring public ire is quite apparent. OPS has challenged the very appointment of Sasikala as the General Secretary of the party, and the ball is currently in the Election Commission's court.
This apart, "TTV's candidature will face legal hurdles given that he was fined over Rs 20 crore by the Enforcement Directorate. And that's akin to almost being convicted," said R Mani, a political analyst.
Let's not forget, Dinakaran owes his allegiance to a convict in Bengaluru prison.
At the same time, Dinakaran's candidature will also make the battle much more strenuous, into an almost make or break situation for the rebel AIADMK leader O Paneerselvam.
It will be interesting to note if the OPS camp will join hands with Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar, who will be contesting as an independent two months after launching her federation MGR Amma Deepa Peravai.
Deepa may have some public support given her striking resemblance to Jayalalithaa, "...but the lack of political experience or a strong party to back her may work to her disadvantage unless OPS and Deepa come together," said TS Sudhir.
Perhaps that is why OPS camp's strategy is to nominate an honest candidate. The names doing the rounds are E Madhusudanan, Presidium Chairman, and/or Rajya Sabha member Dr V Maithreyan.
Now with Amma's demise, the only aura of hers that both the camps can ride on is the AIADMK's symbol - the two-leaves. But here that symbol itself is up for grabs. If the EC dismisses Sasikala as the General Secretary of AIADMK, TTV Dinakaran's candidature under the two-leaves symbol can be nullified (if he wins).
If the EC upholds Sasikala as the GS, the candidate from the OPS camp may be expelled from the party but can continue as an MLA if he wins.
In all probability, the EC will, for now, decide to let both factions of the AIADMK battle it out with different, independent, respective symbols on April 12. The decision on AIADMK's true identity can come in later.
However, will TTV Dinakaran's candidature (and the B Form signed by the party head in a new symbol) be protected is still uncertain.
Other arithmetics also play a huge role here. After all, even though DMK has not won the RK Nagar seat since 2001, the same party won 10 of the 16 seats in the city in 2016 assembly elections. And the DMK wins, it will truly herald a new phase in politics.
So depending on how it turns out, the entire fate of Tamil Nadu's political scene lies in the hands of all the citizens of RK Nagar.
The rest of Tamil Nadu may have their fingers crossed.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:51 PM