Monday, April 17, 2006
The Art Of The Impossible
If Vaiko jumping sides was a surprise, eat this: Sarath Kumar, Actor and sitting Member of Parliament from the DMK has decided joined the AIADMK. That's not all, his wife, Radhikaa, who runs, Radaan Media, one of the largest and, arguably the most successful, TV production companies in South India, has thrown in her lot as well. Sarath Kumar's entry in the AIADMK fold is a sure shot in the arm for the electoral prospects of Amma's alliance. Sarath Kumar, is a influential and vocal member of the Nadar community, which was a Congress votebank once upon a time. After Kamaraj, himself a Nadar, the community not seen a leader rise from within. Over the years, the void of a seasoned mass Nadar leader coupled with the arrival of a charismatic Nadar in Sarath Kumar, paved the way for the DMK to snatch this votebank away from the Congress. But, the Nadars, for various reasons, were never too comfortable with the DMK. They were never as cosy with Karunanidhi as, say the Thevars were (and are) with Jayalalithaa. The community's internal divisions - Nadar Hindus and Nadar Christians has only split their political clout along regional and religious considerations.
The real reasons for Sarath's exit are still not clear. The community, one hears, is peeved because very few Nadars have been given tickets in Karunanidhi's DPA. Added to this is Sarath's frustration of being sidelined within the party. Sarath's entry to the AIADMK would mean that the Nadar vote would be in favour of Amma's alliance, atleast the Nadar Hindus. And, Sarath is also an effective campaigner and crowd puller, something that would be useful in - what is turning out a close contest - where every seat seems to count and every vote seems to matter.