Cover Story
The message of TN Elections: Need For the Left and Democratic Forces to Occupy the Oppositional Space!
by Balasundaram

Tamil Nadu (TN) has, once again, categorically rejected the fascist Modi and the BJP. The BJP was unable to win even a single seat in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. INDIA has won all 40 seats of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The people of Tamil Nadu have been resisting the communal, fascist politics of the BJP since 2014 and they have delivered a more powerful verdict this time, rejecting not only BJP alliance in TN but also AIADMK alliance and the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) (The Party of We, Tamils) led by Seeman who is articulating Tamil pride with chauvinistic overtones. Modi’s frequent visits to the state, more than eight times, in the name of Ram and spirituality and also his repeated election visits has not given the expected results for Modi and the BJP. Tamil Nadu BJP president, Annamalai’s much trumpeted Yatra across Tamil Nadu, named as “en Mann, en Makkal (My Land, My People) also did not yield desired results. Tamil Nadu BJP’ s expectation of achieving 25 percent votes in the state and also expected victory in double digits were also belied by the people. The people of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry thus joined the people of UP, Maharashtra and WB to deal a body blow to the BJP.

ADMK has faced a major defeat despite contesting independently and moving away from the BJP alliance. ADMK is relegated to third position in 10 constituencies by BJP alliance candidates. It has also lost deposits in seven constituencies. Even though ADMK votes have been polled by all other three camps including DMK, BJP and NTK, the major beneficiary appears to be the BJP alliance which is amply evident in Coimbatore constituency where Annamalai was the candidate.  The BJP was expecting a sure win in the constituency. The election results also point out that the people of Tamil Nadu are not willing to pardon ADMK for its past defense in favour of BJP and its policies.

The victory of all parties of INDIA bloc, led by the DMK, including CPI, CPIM, VCK, IUML, etc., also indicate a victory for pluralism and secularism and for the parties that were consistently fighting against the fascist BJP. It is a welcome development that the VCK, the party that consistently fought against Sanatan, has become a state party now. It can also be considered as a symbol of assertion of Dalits of Tamil Nadu which was also part of an assertion all over the country, against the BJP. At the same time, the defeat of Dalit leaders owing allegiance to the BJP and the AIADMK alliances is also worth mentioning. The Dalit assertion in the state against the BJP is an appreciable progress.

Political commentators point out the decline of the percentage of vote share of the DMK compared to past elections. Anti-incumbency and dissatisfaction against the three years of rule of the DMK is being pointed out as the possible reason for the decline. The DMK and its alliance partners should consider this as a sign of warning.

On the other hand, the BJP has increased its vote share more than 10 percent which is also a matter of concern despite the fact that the increase is being attributed only to the alliance, more than its own growth. Another matter of concern is the increase in the vote share of NTK which has propelled it to attain the status of a state party.

This is also an unpleasant indication that the BJP alliance and the NTK are moving in the direction of capturing the oppositional space for third forces in the state which should also be taken with seriousness by DMK alliance partners who are not part of the state government. Annamalai, as expected, has congratulated NTK for attaining the state party status in his interview while harshly criticizing the DMK and the AIADMK alliances.

The people’s mandate has once again underlined the objective need for the emergence of the INDIA bloc in the backdrop of 10 years of fascist threat in the country. Despite the downsizing of the BJP in the elections in 2024, the damage already caused by the BJP rule is yet to be undone. We have to continue our struggles much more powerfully against the BJP now. 

When reactionary forces are emerging in the state against the politics of the DMK, we should not forget that they mainly target the Left, democratic and progressive forces and not just the DMK. In this context, it is all the more important that the Left, democratic and progressive forces in the state rise to the occasion and occupy the centre stage to fight against the reactionary forces. In no case, the BJP should be allowed to occupy the oppositional space. Only in such a case, the reactionary forces can be effectively fought out in a political scenario of the possible post - Dravidian phase of the politics in the state in future. In that process only, the next generation of youngsters may be mobilised against the reactionary forces.

Tamil Nadu unit of CPI ML Liberation joined the election campaign with the slogan, “Defeat Fascism and Victory to INDIA” and engaged in a very active campaign in support of the INDIA candidates in almost 25 - 30 constituencies in the state. The party in Tamil Nadu has strengthened its resolve to fight fascism and its various avatars in the state through expansion and reinforcement of its mass base in the state.

message of TN Elections