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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2619

Karunanidhi promises to herald a new era in Dravidian politics

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi reporting for Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 14 May ( Promising a new beginning in the Dravidian politics, Muthavel Karunanidhi started his new innings as chief minister. Politics of vendetta will be a thing of the past, he said in an obvious reference to the fact both he and his betenoire Jaya Amma indulged in witch hunting each other whenever voted to power. Still fresh in public memory were the midnight scenes enacted at Karunanidhi's residence four years back when Jayalalithaa made her loyal police officers literally drag the octogenarian from his bed on a trumped charge.

By her initial reaction, Jayalalithaa has made it clear that she doesn't believe Kalingar. She has her reasons. But by not attending the swearing in ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in her new capacity as the leader of the opposition the AIADMK general secretary has not served her cause, according to political observers here in Delhi.

Analysts here tend to disagree with Amma for one more reason and it is a crucial input according to them. The minority character of the ministry Karunanidhi is heading and the second in command status given to Stalin at the time of swearing in itself limit the turf area for the chief minister, who, analysts say, has to first officially anoint his son as his successor and then fulfill populist pledges as quickly as possible. In either case, he will be dependent on the allies notably the Congress, which has decided to support him from outside just as the Left parties have done.

Congress calculation appears to be that they will be in a better position to exert influence on the government from outside rather from as a coalition partner. This is what the Left parties are doing in Delhi vis-à-vis the Congress led coalition government. By keeping of the government, Congress gets enough turf space to carry out its mission of reviving the party for the first time in more than three–four decades. The official influence the ally status provides the party will enable the core Congress cadres to spread their net slowly and steadily.

Significantly, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi deputed Pranab Mukherjee the party ideologue and S Jaipal Reddy, the urban development minister, who is known to enjoy fairly good equation with Karunanidhi for the swearing in ceremony. DMK leaders did not miss the gesture and they were indeed happy that a senior of the stature of Pranab was deputed.

- Asian Tribune-

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