Congress leader P Chidambaram has claimed there was an “undercurrent” of opposition among the people against the AIADMK (Amma) government led by K Palaniswami in Tamil Nadu though it might not be reflected in the outcome of the April 12 RK Nagar assembly byelection. There were 130 members (of ruling party) in the assembly confronted with a situation where they have another four years and two months of their tenure to go, he told reporters here last night on the sidelines of launch of his book “Fearless in opposition – Power and Accountability”.
Replying to a question on how he saw the future of Tamil Nadu politics, he said, “They (the 130 MLAs) have realised they have to stick together and stand together. If they fall out, government will fall…
“But there is hardly in government and governance in Tamil Nadu because all 130 assembly members are waging a battle for survival to remain in power for the remaining term,” he said. “But I think there is an undercurrent of opposition against the present dispensation which might not be reflected in the byelection,” he said.
Chidambaram said byelections were usually dominated by police, muscle and money power. “We have to wait for the more general elections that take place. That will happen when the local body election will take place,” he added. The Congress leader also said he cannot say whether the RK Nagar byelection will benefit DMK, the ally of Congress, or there would be a formal split in AIADMK.
The AIADMK (Amma) led by VK Sasikala and AIADMK (Puratchithalaivi Amma) of rebel group led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam are locked in a bitter battle in the bypoll necessitated by the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.
Both the factions are facing a litmus test as the outcome would have a bearing on their future. Besides the DMK, candidates of BJP, CPIM, DMDK led by actor Vijaykanth are also contesting the byelections to the city constituency.