Thursday, March 05, 2009

Alliance Politics and Alphabet Soup in Tamil Nadu

National elections have been announced and political activity has started in high pitch and it is all about 'seat sharing' agreements and less about principles. This time around the equations are going to be different than the previous election and will see three distinct alliances: BJP led NDA, Congress led UPA and the Third Front which is potpouri regional and communisit parties.

Congress and Communists bitterly fought over the nuclear agreement with US and have parted ways since the last election paving way for interesting electoral alignments. Barring Communists and BJP, most of the other parties would go wherever they can extract the maximum # of seats.

It is going to be particularly interesting in Tamil Nadu where there is endless list of parties vying for seats and trying muscle their way in to some alliance. The various combinations and negotiations are simply mind boggling. For starters:
  1. While both Communists and BJP would want to partner with AIADMK, Ms Jayalalitha wants to tie with Congress. This puts both Communists and BJP in dilemna as they would not be in the same camp as Congress. (Late breaking news: Ms. Jayalalithaa doesn't want Congress anymore and will be part of the Third Front with Communists.)
  2. BJP struggling to find a partner as it might not open account without some alliance.
  3. DMK trying to play a delicate balance trying to appease both Congress & PMK, particularly on the Sri Lankan issue.
  4. PMK is sitting on the fence and would go with the highest bidder.
  5. MDMK is with AIADMK but have a diametrically different view on the Sri Lankan issue but will end up on the same alliance.
  6. Actor turned politician, Mr. Vijayakanth is playing his cards close to the chest and unsure where he will lean.
  7. Other actor turned politicians Mr. Sarath Kumar and Mr. Karthik are wondering what to do and where to side as there are 'no takers' for them.
  8. The strong lady of UP, Ms. Mayavati (BSP) looking to enter Tamil Nadu. Not sure if she will win any seats, but sure to eat in to vote banks of other parties.
  9. And then of course there are players like Mr. Thol Thirumavalavan & Mr. K Krishnaswamy looking for some peace of the pie.
There is likely to be lot of posturing and maneuvering in the coming days to split the 40 available seats from Tamil Nadu. In all likely hood, there will be 3 'grand' alliances and lots of others in the fray for the political spoils...

Chennai is already hot.. all these political games are likely to 'raise' it even higher..

What does your crystal ball say? Here is my unscientific prediction
AIADMK led alliance will win 20 - 25 seats
DMK led allliance will win 10 - 15 seats
BJP & others will win 2 - 8 seats