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Vijayakanth, Vaiko & Anbumani: Neither Kings, Nor Kingmakers

File photo of DMDK chief Vijayakanth and MDMK's Vaiko.

File photo of DMDK chief Vijayakanth and MDMK's Vaiko.

He entered politics in 2005 and in 2006, Vijaykanth's DMDK contested all 234 seats in Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, but won only one. However, it was a big win for a party contesting for the first time.

In 2011, he formed an alliance with the AIADMK and contest in 41 seats winning 29. Vijaykanth, also known as Captain, became the Leader of Opposition.

Ahead of the 2016 elections, when everyone wondered if he would play the kingmaker, the Captain decided to be the king forming an alliance with People's Welfare Front. For many it was a formidable Third Front an alternative to the two main Dravidian parties.

But the move to join the PWF didn't work. From making allegations against the DMK and the AIADMK to withdrawing his nominations, the Vaiko factor seems to be responsible for DMDK's poor performance.

Vijaykanth in fact lost in his own constituency by a huge margin. Critics say that had Vijaykanth joined the DMK, he could have scored better in this election and possible even defeated Amma's party.

If the Third Front's performance is worse, the PMK going it alone didn’t go down well with the voters. Anbumani Ramdoss, who made his debut in the assembly polls, lost in his own constituency Pennagaram. PMK’s casteist image was a dampener.

The PMK was the only party talking about implementing prohibition for the past 26 years and now covered issues like farm waivers and education waivers even before the others had it in their manifestos.

However, the PMK won just one seat and somehow managed to hold on to its vote share of 5.3%. It had allied with the DMK in 2006 and 2011.

In 2014, it was part of the rainbow alliance with the BJP and this time it was in talks with it over seat-sharing but it didn’t work.

The party went to elections claiming Tamil Nadu needed a change but the slogans failed. Anbumani Ramdoss conceded defeat, but at the same time defended the stand to contest alone.

Finally, Tamil Nadu has once again proved -- the fight is only between the DMK and the AIADMK.