Opinion | Tamil Nadu Politics: The Rise of Udhayanidhi Stalin and Two Former IPS Officers
Tamil Nadu politics has undergone a dramatic change. Never before in the history of the state - which repeated either Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) or All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Karunanidhi or Jayalalithaa - the clout of two police officers as arch-rivals has been witnessed. Should DMK be scared of these two former IPS officers? The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, briefed the two former IPS officers in 2021, before they were assigned to Tamil Nadu, that a foundation is laid and a base is created for an anti-DMK and Hindutva nationalism narrative. Real-time political leaders in the Opposition space like AIADMK, Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) are all relegated. Tamil Nadu is now blamed for serial blasts and religious conversions and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids are taking place in the state daily. A few are accusing that the drug trade has become rampant. A sorry state of affairs in Tamil Nadu politics is that there is no effective Opposition to go on the offensive against the ruling DMK dispensation. Tamil Nadu politics - which was ridden with the Dravidian ideology - is now shrinking, whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to capture the space of Jayalalithaa. DMK AND ITS 18-MONTH ADMINISTRATION In the past 18 months, the Tamil Nadu ruling party was engaged in an anti-Centre and anti-Modi narrative. State finances are in a precarious situation as no major foreign direct investments have come into the state. There are frequent clashes with the Centre to claim the GST taxes. Recently, big industrialist group TATA's chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran held a meeting with Chief Minister MK Stalin and assured the state of huge investments. Interestingly, few DMK ministers murmur why Stalin kept his son Udhayanidhi in the meeting in 2023 while in 2022 when the same TATA Chief Chandrasekaran met MK Stalin and the son-in-law V Sabareesan participated in high-level discussions, Opposition parties questioned this dynasts' control over the DMK and the government. DMK, the ruling party, has 'fixed alliance partners'. The party has a progressive alliance with the Congress Party, VCK, MDMK and both the communists. Unfortunately, these Opposition parties are not serving the cause of voters. Recently, Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra began from Tamil Nadu but it failed to create a political impact. RAJINIKANT-KAMAL HAASAN CINEMA DOMINATION Rajinikanth refused to float a political party. But Kamal Haasan was at the forefront and fought the DMK in the 2019 Assembly polls. However, in 18 months, Kamal Haasan's party Makkal Needhi Mayyam (MNM) did not make any progress. A new trend in the Tamil cine world is the emergence of Vijay. The tinsel world is projecting Vijay as a challenger to superstar Rajinikanth. But even in the cine world, there appears to be a challenge - that Vijay will not follow DMK's dictum.