Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) under their president M.K.Stalin is losing its ground by facing continuous setbacks for the past one month. Everything wrong for DMK started with the results of Vellore Lok Sabha elections. DMK, which was able to win almost every seat it contested with a very huge margin was able to register its victory in Vellore only with a very small margin that too because of the complete support provided by the minorities. Even after gaining the complete support from the minority vote bank, which constitutes nearly 15% of the Vellore constituency, DMK only being able to win with a margin of lesser than 1% infers that DMK is losing its ground among Hindus. The shock was more severe for DMK as this result came in Vellore, which is a stronghold of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
When the special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir was abolished through the indirect removal of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, DMK became one of the few parties that opposed this BJP’s move along with the Congress party. Even the Congress’s stand on this issue was divided; with few leaders like Jyotiradithya Scindia supported the Modi government’s move unlike the opposing stand of Congress leadership and Gandhi family. Unlike Congress, the opposition from DMK was absolute. Modi government’s move of scrapping special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and the further bifurcation of the former state into two union territories didn’t receive any opposition from the common citizens in Tamil Nadu. There is indeed a silent support for this move of Modi government in Tamil Nadu. People when they came to know that the special status of Kashmir is against the Dalit people and women. Many were surprised to know that a piece of land can’t be purchased in Kashmir unlike the other states. Thus, majority of Tamil Nadu people silently favors the removal of special status to Kashmir and DMK’s opposition to this move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government had irked the silent majority.
DMK went one step further and organized protests against this move of Narendra Modi government in Delhi, which was not even done by BJP’s prime opposition party, Congress. DMK also called for an all-party meeting to oppose the removal of special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. Thus, DMK lead the opposition charge against the removal of special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. As the special status was scrapped for national security reasons, DMK was viewed as opposing national security and with Pakistan’s Radio started promoting DMK, DMK was seen as intentionally or non-intentionally supporting Pakistan with their opposition. This became a big jolt to the political narrative that DMK used to dominate in the state of Tamil Nadu. The political narrative space of the silent majority in Tamil Nadu was in vacuum and actor-politician Superstar Rajinikanth occupied this vacuum by praising the removal of special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir by Narendra Modi government and the perfect implementation of Home Minister Amit Shah. Rajinikanth even went to the extent of comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah with Krishna and Arjuna in Mahabharata. This gave huge traction to Rajinikanth, which was not in favor of MK Stalin led DMK.
Social commentator and Youtube blogger Maridhas posted a video about alleged links between DMK and Pakistan. DMK instead of providing clarification to the allegations kept on them went to the extent of registering complaint on Maridhas and thus went against the freedom of expression of Maridhas. This was viewed by many in a bad taste . This resulted in twitter trends in support of Maridhas with the hashtag “#ISupportMaridhas” and this trended topped the India twitter trend charts. Maridhas attained national wide fame because of DMK going against him and even many top national newspapers like Indian Express carried news on Maridhas. This resulted in DMK completely losing its narrative on the issue of Kashmir, Article 370 and people started perceiving DMK as a party going against the freedom of expression.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy is working hard to position himself as a capable leader. To bring in more investments to the state of Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister is on a foreign visit. This was perceived in a positive limelight by most of Tamil people. DMK president MK Stalin unnecessarily launched criticism on Chief Minister’s foreign visit and unnecessarily questioned the motive of Chief Minister’s visit. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy in return questioned the motive of multiple foreign visits that DMK President MK Stalin made in recent times, which left MK Stalin clueless. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy is currently in a three nation foreign tour to UK, US and Dubai and is projecting himself as a competent leader meeting various investors and leaders to attract investments to Tamil Nadu and because of this DMK’s narrative of Stalin as the only capable leader in Tamil Nadu after the results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 is deeply affected.
More than these specific issues, promotion of Udhayanidhi Stalin as DMK Youth Wing leader didn’t go well with the masses. This became a testament to the allegations of nepotism that were consistently levelled on DMK. With DMK failing to catch the popular mentality of people in issues such as Kashmir and Chief Minister’s foreign visit, DMK is consistently losing its political narrative that it had upper hand after the results of Lok Sabha elections.