It’s been two weeks since the DMDK has been in talks with the AIADMK and the DMK. But what is taking DMDK so much time?
Two weeks ago, it was the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), looks like now it is the turn of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) to keep other parties guessing on its political gambit for the forthcoming general elections.
The DMDK, which was widely expected to go with the AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance block in the state, has apparently not firmed up its mind on the matter yet. This could probably be the reason why the poll scenario looks very fluid in Tamil Nadu.
The Vijayakanth-floated party DMDK is pretty much in demand with both the AIADMK and the DMK alliance formations.
The BJP election in-charge for the State Piyush Goyal, when he was in Chennai to finalise the alliance with the AIADMK and the PMK, visited Vijayakanth at his residence.
But even as the expectation was that an alliance plan would be unveiled, the meeting did not provide a breakthrough, and Goyal had to return saying that he called on Vijayakanth only on a courtesy basis.
Vijayakanth, for the record, has recently returned from abroad, after a prolonged stay there for health treatment.
Soon enough Vijayakanth’s house was teeming with visitors - all political in nature, but claiming that they were coming only to wish him good health.
Visitors included DMK chief M K Stalin, former TNCC chief S Thirunavukkarasar, actor Rajinikanth and a host of other AIADMK leaders.
But a final deal with the DMDK could not be clinched by any one.
As of now, the political gossip is that the talks between the DMK and the DMDK are now completely nixed, and the two have no chance of going together in this election.
As per indications, the DMDK is ready to ally with the AIADMK-BJP-PMK, but the parleys are not making headway because the DMDK wants it to be treated on par with the PMK (which has got tickets to contest 7 LS seats and a promise for 1 RS seat.)
The AIADMK is reportedly ready to give only 5 seats to contest. The RS seat promise is also hanging in balance.
But why is the DMK and the AIADMK so keen on the DMDK, even though it has no sitting MLA or MP in its ranks?
Well, like in the case of the PMK, the DMDK brings with it a promise of a solid vote-bank, which in the context of close contests may prove to be a clincher.
But this theory was not accurate in the 2016 State elections, as the DMDK (as part of the 3rd Front in the State), did not win a single seat, but more importantly saw an erosion in its vote base.
In the 2014 general elections, DMDK was in the NDA camp. Again, it did not win anything, but its presence was seen as important in pushing the DMK to the third spot.
While the AIADMK camp's desperation for DMDK's presence in the alliance is understandable, the DMK's aggression to get it was a bit puzzling. It only showed that the DMK group is still not confident of its position. It also reflects the DMK leadership's lacklustre performance so far.
The DMDK cannot let the suspense linger for long. It has to take a decision quickly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend a rally on Wednesday, March 6, in Chennai. All alliance party leaders are expected to be present there. The BJP is putting pressure on the AIADMK to get the talks sorted out so that PM Modi's public rally gets going on a positive note.
The DMDK, for its part, has called for an emergency party meeting tomorrow. Though the agenda for the meet has not been revealed, it will inevitably focus only on allies and election strategy.
Though Vijaykanth is no longer in the pink of health, his family members who run the party (his wife Premalatha and his brother-in-law Sudheesh) have been leveraging on his image and are driving a hard bargain. They have to take a decision tomorrow.
The next two days will show whether their grand strategy has paid off or not.
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Last Updated Mar 4, 2019, 6:08 PM IST