On March 6, 1967, CN Annadurai of Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (DMK) took oath as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu (Madras State then), after overthrowing Congress in the elections. In the 54 years since, Congress has not been able to taste power in the state on its own. One could say, borrowing from BJP’s wish list, that Tamil Nadu has been nearly Congress-free.
But it is not just Congress. No other party, including BJP, which flexes its muscles in almost all other parts of the country, has been able to capture power in the state. In all these years, DMK and its bête noire AIADMK have ensured that the power doesn’t go out of their hands.
In the wake of this certainty that is somehow assured by the voters, a new demand has arisen, largely from the right-wing camp: “Kazhagangal illatha Thamizhagam!” (Tamil Nadu sans Dravidian parties). This even as the BJP is fighting the ongoing Tamil Nadu assembly elections in alliance with ruling AIADMK.
Naysayers point to the massive corruption and caste discrimination and other ills that have grown in different ways under the two parties.
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