The BJP’s projected victory is good news for the AIADMK state government, which allegedly relies on the centre’s support for its survival.
The exit polls may be projecting a discouraging outcome for the ruling AIADMK in the Lok Sabha elections, but the state government might not feel threatened about its stability as its ‘godfather’ in Delhi is projected to win comfortably.
The worst-case scenario for the AIADMK-led front in the state is four parliamentary seats, though a few polls suggest it might even touch 14. That is a huge fall from the 37 seats the AIADMK won under Jayalalitha in the 2014 elections. However, the good news for the party is the NDA’s projected win as the BJP at the centre allegedly protects the AIADMK government even though the latter does not have a majority in the assembly.
The survival of the E.K. Palaniswami government hinges on the results of the by-elections in 22 assembly constituencies (for which exit polls have not come yet). The AIADMK has to win at least eight seats to be on safe ground. One will have to wait for May 23 to know if the party will increase its tally or if it will require the ‘protection’ of the centre to remain in power.
If the exit polls hold good, the DMK could be staring at a scenario that Jayalalitha encountered in 2014—a sizeable clutch of MPs with no role in the formation of the union government. Similarly, the Congress may win about five seats, but those MPs are expected to sit in the opposition benches.
BJP’s only parliamentarian from the state in 2014, Pon Radhdarkishnan, is projected to hold onto his Kanyakumari seat by a slender margin. The party could win one more seat from Coimbatore. The PMK, an ally of the AIADMK, is expected to win only one or two of the seven seats it contested.