May 28, 2019, 03.07 PM
With the DMK's resounding electoral victory in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, Stalin has cemented, firmly, his place as the party leader.
Thalapathy (commander) as he is popularly known among DMK carders, who bequeathed enormous responsibility from his father who died in August 2018, proved his mettle and made the detractors, who questioned his leadership style over the past few months, eat their own words.
The DMK-led alliance routed rival BJP-AIADMK in the state winning 37 out of 38 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls.
Karunanidhi, fondly called Kalaignar by his party cadres, was rather reluctant to pass the baton to Stalin who was the youth wing secretary of the party for 34 years until the age of 63.
Stalin succeeded and was made the party president only after Karunanidhi's death.
With the remarkable victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Stalin has finally emerged from his father and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s long shadow.
Though the opposition parties across the country wanted to oust Modi, neither was there unity among them nor were they ready to accommodate other like-minded parties opposed to BJP into their fold which resulted in advantage BJP.
When everyone from Mamata Banerjee to Mayawati exercised politics of greed and lust for power, Stalin, perhaps the only opposition leader, who was not only magnanimous and accommodated both Congress and the Communist parties in the alliance and set aside a respectable number of seats to both the parties.
Stalin also openly endorsed Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of 'Mahagathbandhan'. While everyone else failed to stop Modi, Stalin remains one of the few anti-BJP politicians who have managed to buck the national trend and halted BJP's juggernaut in Tamil Nadu. DMK-Congress sustained the campaign against the BJP was the main reason for the DMK-led alliance's victory.
From the Thoothukudi killings that followed anti-Sterlite protests to Gaja cyclone and Cauvery river and NEET issue, the general mood of Tamil Nadu was against Modi-led BJP regime at the Centre. And, AIADMK shot themselves on the foot when they tied up with the BJP which resulted in the Dravidian party losing any slim chance they had to win a few seats in the state.
DMK's coalition with Congress also helped in minority vote consolidation.
The minority vote consolidation in favour of DMK-led alliance wouldn`t have happened if the Congress was not part of the alliance or Gandhi was not announced as Prime Ministerial candidate which led to DMK's massive victory.
Stalin may not have succeeded in his mission to see Congress president Rahul Gandhi as country's prime minister but he had dealt an embarrassing blow to BJP's ambition to breach the Dravidian citadel by partnering with AIADMK.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL.)