Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2016

‘Captain’ Vijayakant to steer his own ship

DMDK president Vijayakant addresses the party’s women's wing confernece in Chennai. Photo: M. Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_Vedhan

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With DMDK deciding to go it alone, Tamil Nadu likely to face multi-cornered Assembly polls.

Putting to rest months of speculation, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) president Vijayakant, on Thursday, announced that his party will face the Assembly elections alone, rejecting repeated invitations from the DMK for a poll tie-up.

With this dramatic announcement at the party women’s wing meeting here late in the evening, Tamil Nadu in all probability would witness a six-cornered poll battle involving the ruling AIADMK, the DMK-Congress, the DMDK, the PMK, the PWF and the BJP.

Mr. Vijayakant said too many rumours had been spread about the party’s position on alliance over the last three months. “I will contest alone. I thank those who invited me to their alliances,” he declared. Denying that he had negotiated with any political party, as reported in sections of the media, he said, “Some said crores of money had changed hands. What do you say now? I reiterate that we will contest this election alone.”

A seven-member committee, headed by party youth wing secretary L.K. Sudheesh, will finalise the candidates list for all 234 constituencies. The party also released its manifesto.

Towards the close of the meeting, Mr. Vijayakant’s wife Premalatha appealed to parties that shared the aim of the DMDK to talk to him.

Launched in September 2005, the DMDK contested the 2006 Assembly elections alone and secured over 8 per cent vote share.

This went up to 10.3 per cent in 2009 Parliamentary elections. In 2011, the party aligned with the AIADMK and won 29 seats, making it the main opposition in the Assembly. Earlier, Ms. Premalatha lashed out at both the AIADMK and the DMK, accusing them of encouraging corruption in administration.

“The DMDK was formed as an alternative to the AIADMK and the DMK. It is true we aligned with the AIADMK in 2011. But the moment our leader realised the government was initiating anti-government policies, he stormed out of the alliance. Our aim is to drive the two parties out of Tamil Nadu,” she added.

Ms. Premalatha also took on the media for publishing what she called “plants” the DMK had floated.

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Printable version | Apr 30, 2017 4:24:35 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamilnadu2016/vijayakants-dmdk-to-go-it-alone/article8337397.ece