There is a general belief in the political circles that Jayalalitha’s conviction has created a political vacuum in Tamilnadu, with AIADMK rendered leaderless and DMK fighting internal wars. BJP probably is sniffing an opportunity here, and are strongly pursuing Rajnikanth to lead its rally in the state.
While this makes logical sense, Jayalalitha’s influence whether in jail or out of jail cannot be discounted. BJP on its part would do well to avoid going this route as they don’t have strong presence in Tamilnadu and their policies don’t differ much from Dravidian politics.
The current crop of leaders in the state include Pon Radhakrishnan, Thamilisai Soundararajan, Ila Ganesan and H Raja. None of them have any mass following and they will tag along with whatever the center decides, as they themselves don’t have any opinions and any form of recognition of their efforts today will pay them well politically for a foreseeable future.
Even someone like Thirunavukkarasu who was once touted as the replacement for Jayalalitha couldn’t do much being part of a national party like Congress and has already become politically insignificant.
This is the level of influence that national parties have had in the political context of TamilNadu. Why is this so? It is because the gap between the leaders of the party and the ground is huge. The central leadership does not understand the problems at the ground level and they listen to the middle men (power brokers and fixers) who advise them on how to gain entry into the state.
BJP or for that matter Modi, should avoid going by what they are being advised currently – one of them is trying to woo Rajnikanth. We all have seen Rajnikanth’s political acumen from 1996 – he is someone, who is known for not taking a stand and his political advisers have changed from time to time.
Already, BJP has started on the wrong foot and it isn’t too late for course correction. I am sure that it would take 15 to 20 years of sustained efforts for BJP to gain acceptance in the state and with the current strategies pursued, it would only remain a dream.
Overall, it’s the BJP’s to lose in the state today!