Chennai: The NDA in Tamil Nadu suffered a blow with actor Vijayakant’s DMDK exiting the AIADMK-BJP alliance unable to arrive at an agreement on the seat sharing for the April 6 Assembly elections.
“After three rounds of talks we could not agree on the numbers and constituencies. The party district secretaries unanimously expressed a view based on which the DMDK is exiting the AIADMK-BJP alliance,” a statement issued in the name of Vijayakant said. The party is yet to decide on its future course with just two days remaining for filing of nominations to begin on March 12.
On the other hand, the opposition DMK has almost sewed up a mega alliance of Congress, Left, Dalit and other parties keeping about 174 seats for itself and allotting 60 seats to allies. Interestingly 13 candidates of the allies will be contesting on the DMK’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol.
Soon after Vijayakant announced the snapping of ties, his brother-in-law L K Sudhish, who is also party deputy general secretary, made caustic remarks against the DMK. While hailing the day as “Deepavali for the DMDK,” he said, “the AIADMK candidates will forfeit their deposits in all constituencies.” He accused AIADMK deputy coordinator K P Munusamy of functioning like a “sleeper cell” and “propaganda secretary” of the PMK, another ally, which was given 23 seats.
From an impressive solo debut in the 2006 Assembly elections polling over 8% vote share, Vijayakant’s party had in five years time become the principal opposition party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in the company of the AIADMK. However, its down slide began soon thereafter and in the last Parliamentary elections it polled a little over 2% vote share.
Sources said the AIADMK was not too keen to take the DMDK on board this time but had engaged with it at the behest of the BJP. The DMDK began negotiations demanding 41 seats – a number allotted to it in 2011. Subsequently it insisted that it must be given at least 23 seats on a par with the PMK but the ruling party was unwilling to offer beyond 13 seats leading to snapping of ties and bitterness.
AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar termed the development “unfortunate” but warned that the ruling party was capable of giving it back below the belt to the DMDK. “If something is not sweet, you can leave in a dignified manner instead of making bitter remarks,” he said.
However, BJP All India Mahila Morcha president Vanathi Srinivasan appealed to the DMDK to reconsider its decision.
As of now, the DMDK has the option of going it alone or aligning with Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam or TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.