On a day the BJP basked in the glory of an unprecedented win in the general election, the two most assertive women in Indian polity held their own — in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
While the victories were somewhat laced in the irony that their respective ‘waves’ were subsumed by a larger ‘tsunami’ for BJP’s Narendra Modi, J Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee stole a march over their bitter state rivals in remarkable fashion.
Down south, the ruling AIADMK won 37 of the 39 seats in TN to emerge as the third largest party in the country. In the east, Trinamool Congress rode on a split in opposition votes to win a record 34 LS seats out of 42 in West Bengal.
Their political significance might have paled in the light of a thumping majority for the NDA at the Centre, but the wins were devastating in their own right.
As much as it was about the ‘lady wave’ in Tamil Nadu, the story was equally about the decimation of the DMK,a regional party that once flaunted the status of the most influential minority at the Centre for a decade. The fate was same for its smaller alliance partners — IUML, MMK and VCK.
Ditto in West Bengal where the once-mighty Left was reduced to an also-ran, bagging just two seats.
Said an ecstatic Mamata Banerjee: “I am overwhelmed by this victory. TMC dedicates it to the maa, mati, manush of Bengal.”
While the BJP made its presence felt for the first in West Bengal, any such ‘wave’ was invisible in Tamil Nadu. However, amid all this, the biggest loser, ironically, was AIADMK and J Jayalalithaa. As the results showed, Jaya was right in her gamble to go alone in search of the maximum number of seats.
However, her clout in the next dispensation depended also on the performance of the lead player. In this case, the Amma wave coincided with that of Modi's.
It could not have gone worse for the DMK, though, as it completed a hat-trick of rout after defeats in assembly and local body polls three years ago. Not one of its candidates won, including TR Baalu, A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran. The much-touted front of BJP, DMDK, MDMK, PMK, KMDK, IJK and NJP remained a non-starter as well.
But above all, this election, a baseline of sorts where many important parties were forced to contest on their own, burst