He struck a defiant tone in the wake of an electoral defeat
DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s last political interview was published in The Hindu on May 28, 2016, a few days after the results of the Assembly elections were declared. Since then, he had given only one interview — to a Tamil magazine — which dealt with his personal likes and dislikes. Subsequently, ill health confined him to his home.
In his interview to The Hindu, he not only accused the Election Commission of India of having colluded with the AIADMK, but also gave enough indication that the DMK, as a strong Opposition party, would make it tough for the ruling party to complete its term.
‘Can face any challenge’
“As far as the DMK is concerned, it can face any challenge. Now, the ruling party has more challenges than the DMK. Though the ruling party has been re-elected to power, the AIADMK has just 131 members [excluding the MLAs of allied parties] in the Assembly. After the death of one MLA, the number has come down to 130.
This means the party has 12 members more than the number required for a simple majority.
“The AIADMK has the challenge of holding them together and preventing them from wavering. It is like walking a tightrope,” he said, indicating that he would have some aces up his sleeve to surprise the AIADMK in due course.
While the AIADMK did face a predicament after Jayalalithaa’s death — six months after this interview — Karunanidhi’s ill health prevented him from using his immense political acumen to his advantage thereafter.
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