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Vijayakanth's DMDK Quits Alliance With AIADMK As Seat Sharing Talks Fail



Vijayakanth had sought 41 seats for his party in the alliance with the AIADMK, but was offered only 13 to 15 seats.

Actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) has on Tuesday opted out of the AIADMK-led alliance with just three days to go for filing of nominations to begin for the Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021.

The actor, in a statement, said that the decision came after a consultation meeting was held with all its district secretaries on Tuesday morning. It was a consensus among all district functionaries to withdraw from the AIADMK alliance. Vijayakanth, a two-time MLA who has even served as Leader of Opposition in 2011, had sought 41 seats for his party in the alliance with the AIADMK. The AIADMK however had refused, and renegotiations have been on for more than a week now.

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The DMDK had sought at least 20-25 seats, but the AIADMK was willing to offer barely 13 to 15 seats — possibly as the DMDK did not have any MLAs from the 2016 elections, and this was felt to be a reason for its waning popularity. Vijayakanth himself had lost his deposit in that election.

For the upcoming polls 2021, however, the party was trying to revive its ground work — Vijayakanth himself wants to contest, as do his wife Premalatha and his son Vijayprabhakaran who are planning to test electoral waters for the first time. Vijayakanth’s brother-in-law LK Sudhish (Premalatha’s brother), the party’s deputy secretary, also plans to contest.

During a rally in Cuddalore’s Panruti, Vijayprabhakaran said, “AIADMK popularity is on the decline. They say they will give us only 10-15 seats. It’s time we turn into warriors. In Edappadi consistency, the CM himself will loses.”

“When I talk , people think, here’s a young innocent boy talking. I may be be a young boy but I’m a young boy who conducts himself well. We are not a party that will fall for money,” he said during the rally moments after DMDK’s official announcement.

The DMDK cadre however had expressed unhappiness at he way the AIADMK was treating them at different party fora in the recent past — LK Sudhish in fact had reportedly told the cadre that the AIADMK’s talks were being held without cognisance of the fact that, but for the DMDK’s role and alliance in 2011, the AIADMK would never have come to power ten years back; he seemed to indicate that there seemed to be no gratitude for this.

“There is an opinion that Vijayakanth and Premalatha must contest from Virudachalam and Panruti constituencies respectively,” Vijayprabhakaran.

Withdrawing from the AIADMK-led alliance means the party has three options with it now: either ally with the TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam or the Kamal Haasan-led Makkal Needhi Maiyam or go it alone. The DMK-led alliance has already firmed up most of its allies — and there is not much time to start talks now, though it is not impossible.

With the DMDK out, the AIADMK alliance now has only three parties in the alliance — the BJP which has got 20 seats to contest as part of its electoral pact, the PMK which is likely to get about 23 seats to contest (the agreement is yet to be signed), and the ruling AIADMK, which will contest the bulk of the seats in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly.

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first published:March 09, 2021, 14:15 IST