But in the April six Assembly polls the Dravidian majors can hardly look the other way even as the smaller parties have started flexing their muscles.
Of course, a modern version of the legendary David-Goliath face-off is not possible for now. But small parties do not go down on all their fours before either the ruling party or the opposition.
TTV Dinakaran’s AMMK aligning with Vijayakanth’s DMDK, Seeman’s Naam Tamilar Katchi and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s MakkalNeedhiMaiyam, allying with another actor Sarathkumar’s All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi, are now in the electoral race, very much in the limelight.
In fact, they are majors among the minors, slowly itching ahead in consolidating their votebanks and fraught with potential of titling the scales either way–favouring the AIADMK or the DMK.
This has already been driven home back in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and in 2016 Assembly polls.
A psephological study will make for a convincing point. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the DMK front recorded 52 percentage of votes polled, winning 38 seats and leaving only one to the AIADMK.
The partywise break-up is: DMK got 33.18 per cent, its allies Congress 12.92 per cent, the two Communist parties together 4.87 per cent and VCK 1.2 per cent.
Whereas the AIADMK front had registered 30.9 percentage with the break-up being AIADMK 18.72 per cent, PMK 5.49 per cent, BJP 3.66 per cent, and DMDK 2.22 per cent.
The smaller parties, away from the two Dravidan fronts, had recorded votes as follows: AMMK 5.13 per cent, NTK 3.93 per cent, MNM 3.77 per cent and 1.29 per cent under NOTA.
Clubbing together all these figures, the total percentage was over 14.12 per cent.
The inference is that the AIADMK could have bridged the 11.1 per cent gap in voting between itself and the triumphant DMK and won the election if only the ruling party had allied with the so-called smaller parties whose combined voting percentage was 13 (excluding the NOTA percentage).
So, the smaller parties played a major role in playing spoilsport with the AIADMK’s chances in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.