Among the major allies, the Congress, which had to settle for 25 seats as against its initial expectation of 50, surprised itself by coming up with a better performance and strike rate than other allies
CHENNAI: Even as the newly elected DMK MLAs unanimously chose DMK president M K Stalin as the legislature party leader, paving way for him to be sworn in as the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu, there is intense debate in political circles over the performance of the allies in the DMKled alliance.
Among the major allies, the Congress, which had to settle for 25 seats as against its initial expectation of 50, surprised itself by coming up with a better performance and strike rate than other allies. It won 18 of the 25 seats, with a 72% strike rate.
“Despite trouble over seat distribution within the party, TNCC president K S Alagiri handled it smoothly, did not give in to pressure tactics from a few MPs and ensured that the Congress got to field candidates from across all regions. Had the party won from Kallakurichi and Uthangarai, which it was confident throughout the campaign, our strike rate would have been 80%,” a state Congress leader said.
On the other hand, the two Communist parties – CPM and CPI – which were allotted six seats each by the DMK, delivered a below par performance by winning just two seats each. “The Congress got seats as per its strength and had delivered. May be, it is time for the comrades to introspect on what went wrong,” a DMK source said.
Leaders from both the CPM and CPI said they are yet to hold any internal discussions to analyse the poor performance, citing the Covid pandemic. “We could not get seats allotted in regions where we are potentially strong, including industrialized regions like Kanyakumari and Chennai. Further, in three seats allotted to us – Kovilpatti, Dindigul and Thiruparankundram – we were pitted against ministers and leaders including Kadambur C Raju, T T V Dhinakaran, Dindigul C Sreenivasan and Rajan Chellappa. We could not match their resources,” CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan told TOI.
In the case of CPI, the party got the seats it wanted, but ended up with a low strike rate of 33% as CPM. “We wanted three seats in the Kongu region – Valparai, with a large population of plantation workers, Tiruppur West that accounts for a large base of industrial workers and Bhavanisagar. But the region that favoured the DMK alliance in the 2019 election, turned favourable to the AIADMK this time. Otherwise, our allies extended their complete support, with the DMK functionaries leading the campaign from the front,” said CPI state secretary R Mutharasan.