2014 LS poll outcome will prove my party's strength, says DMDK leader

Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam leader Vijayakant on Friday said the 2014 Lok Sabha poll outcome would prove his party's strength and the role it played in securing a victory for the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in the 2011Assembly elections. He said the AIADMK could come to power only because the DMDK joined the alliance and campaigned aggressively during the Assembly elections.

“To realise the truth, you need not wait till the 2016 Assembly election. See what will happen in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. We are not going to align with the AIADMK and the outcome of the election will prove the role played by the DMDK in the 2011 Assembly elections,” Mr. Vijayakant told in an interview to The Hindu.

Mr. Vijayakant, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said he “blindly” agreed to be part of the AIADMK alliance in the Assembly election as his only objective that time was to deliver the people from what he called the “atrocities of the DMK regime.”

“I did not lay down any conditions for joining the AIADMK-led alliance. I did not seek any special privilege for me. I consulted my partymen in a conference in Salem about the alliance and I deferred to their opinion.

Mr. Vijayakant said he was not allowed to rest even for a moment during the run-up to the 2011 Assembly elections as the AIADMK leadership used every available avenue to reach him and rope him into the alliance. “They know how many calls they made to reach me,” he said.

Mr. Vijayakant said it was the media's assessment that the 10 per cent votes polled by his party would make a great difference for any alliance in which it would become a partner and if his party had decided to contest alone in the 2011 election, a campaign would have been launched against him that he had been bought over by the DMK-Congress front.

This is the first time that Mr. Vijayakant is commenting on the circumstances in which he forged his alliance with the AIADMK.

Asked whether he had expected that his party's alliance with the AIADMK would turn bitter and end abruptly, he said he was not surprised as he was fully aware of AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa's approach. “It is my assessment that a person's nature will not change. After using me like curry leaves, I have been cast aside,” he said.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had said some months ago that she was never interested in forging a tie-up with the DMDK, but had to accept her party cadre's wish. She had argued that her party would have scored a massive victory on its own and without the DMDK's help. It was the DMDK that had benefited by the alliance as it won 29 seats in the Assembly and got the Opposition leader's post to boot.

Mr. Vijayakant, who visited the Assembly on Friday to sign the attendance register, justified his absence from the House, arguing that there was no space for any constructive debate there. “It has become a House for sycophancy. What can I do there in the Assembly?” he said. The DMDK leader also criticised the frequent resort to the rule 110 of Assembly to make statements.

“You can make a statement under Rule 110 (the provision that enables a Minister to make a suo motu statement on which there can be no debate) only on very important issues. But now she is making statements on issues covered by every Ministry. Then what is the purpose of having Ministers in the Cabinet? They allow members to praise the Chief Minister for her announcements, but do not allow any criticism,” he said.

Mr. Vijayakant said both Ms. Jayalalithaa and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi had avoided coming to the Assembly when they were in the opposition.