In a big move ahead of the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has agreed to participate in DMK's conference to be held in Chennai on January 6. On Friday, Mastan- DMK's secretary for Minority Welfare met Owaisi in Hyderabad requesting him to attend this public function, sparking off a buzz about a possible tie-up between the two parties. This assumes significance as AIMIM has already announced that it will contest the TN Assembly election due in April-May 2021.
While the number of seats has not officially been finalised, AIMIM's TN unit president Vakeel Ahmed indicated that the party might field candidates in 25-30 constituencies. Considered a formidable force in Hyderabad, AIMIM has also made inroads in Maharashtra and Bihar. In the recently concluded Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election, AIMIM had the best strike rate among all other parties by winning 44 out of the 51 wards in which it fielded candidates
In a significant political milestone in TN politics, AIADMK returned to power in 2016 under the leadership of Jayalalithaa for a successive term. In the 234-member Assembly, AIADMK won a whopping 135 seats in contrast to DMK whose candidates could win from 98 constituencies. However, Jayalalithaa's untimely demise on December 5, 2016, led to a vacuum in her party which was initially filled by O Panneerselvam. But, her close confidante VK Sasikala was elected as the General Secretary of the party and sought to take over as the CM of the state in February 2017.
While Panneerselvam resigned from his post and backed her candidature, he subsequently rebelled against her. After the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in the disproportionate assets case, her camp picked E Palaniswami as Panneerselvam's replacement. On August 21, 2017, AIADMK factions led by the CM and Panneerselvam merged and paved way for the removal of Sasikala from the party. Thereafter, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran formed the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.
In the upcoming Assembly election, DMK is perceived as the principal challenger to AIADMK as it swept 38 out of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 General Election. While filmstar Rajinikanth has decided against taking a political plunge, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam is also in the poll fray. On the other hand, Sasikala's release from jail in January 2021 is likely to further impact the political scenario in the state.