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Tamil Nadu Bus Fare Hike Unites anti-AIADMK Front, But Stalin Keeps Mum on Alliance Talk

MDMK founder Vaiko (second from right) participates in an all-party meeting at the DMK headquarters in Chennai on Tuesday. DMK Working President MK Stalin (centre) chairs the meet.

MDMK founder Vaiko (second from right) participates in an all-party meeting at the DMK headquarters in Chennai on Tuesday. DMK Working President MK Stalin (centre) chairs the meet.

Both MDMK founder Vaiko and DMK Working President MK Stalin are known to be bitter rivals, but have joined hands, in the last one month, to take on the ruling AIADMK.

Poornima Murali
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Chennai: The DMK convened an all-party meeting at its headquarters in the city over the bus fare hike. The meeting was attended by MDMK, VCK, Left except the Congress.

Interestingly, MDMK founder Vaiko participated in the meeting at the DMK headquarters after 12 years. The last time he attended a meet was in 2006 when the meeting was chaired by DMK Supremo Karunanidhi. This time, the meet was chaired by DMK Working President MK Stalin.

Both Vaiko and MK Stalin are known to be bitter rivals, but have joined hands, in the last one month, to take on the ruling AIADMK.

After over a two-hour meeting, the parties adopted three resolutions, including a protest across all district headquarters, a protest meeting on Feb 13 and also wants cases registered against students during protests to be withdrawn. All this to ensure that the Tamil Nadu government rolls back the ticket price hike.

So is a united anti-AIADMK front in the making? DMK says only time will tell.

When asked if all the parties that participated today will be in alliance, MK Stalin said, "You will get the reply when the state goes to polls."

But in the RK Nagar bypoll, that was held in December, Left parties, VCK and MDMK offered support to the DMK. That though did not help the DMK as the party lost its deposit in the bypoll.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP stitched a grand alliance in Tamil Nadu with parties such as the PMK, DMDK and MDMK.

However, MDMK, led by actor Vijaykanth, and PMK have so far criticised both the DMK and the AIADMK.

With Jayalalithaa's passing away and DMK Supremo Karunanidhi being inactive in politics, it is for MK Stalin to prove himself in the upcoming elections.

RK Radhakrishnan, Associate Editor, Frontline, said,"In the current political situation, where the AIADMK is perceived as splintered and weak, most other political parties in the state would want to align with the other major political party, the DMK. The DMK leadership is aware of the situation, but has so far not been very enthusiastic about bringing the entire anti-AIADMK forces together."

Analysts feel that DMK has always depended on allainces and will hope to work out one for the elections.

"There is already a defacto alliance which was seen at the time of RK Nagar bypoll between the DMK, Congress, VCK, MDMK, MMK and the left parties. DMK will hope to formalise such an alliance before the next elections. The DMK has always depended on alliances and so this too will be a formidable front," said political analyst Sumanth Raman.

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