Vijayakant's party allotted 14 seats in the alliance
After weeks of wrangling and hectic parleys on all sides, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finally managed to clinch a deal with actor Vijayakant-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) on Saturday for the Lok Sabha polls.
Bringing the curtain down on a twisting political drama, leaders from both sides confirmed on Saturday night that the differences that threatened to derail the alliance on Friday were resolved after direct intervention from the BJP central leadership.
Formidable third front
The alliance will include the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), making it a formidable third front in the State.
Speaking to The Hindu, DMDK youth wing secretary L.K. Sudheesh, who was the key deal-maker for the outfit, said the party had been allotted 14 seats in the alliance out of a total of 39 seats at stake in the State.
He said the bone of contention that prolonged the finalisation of the talks was the lone seat of Tirupur, which both the BJP and the DMDK insisted on.
“But on Saturday, Mr. Vijayakant decided to give up the claim for the sake of alliance,” he pointed out. In return, the party was allotted the Tiruchi constituency.
Earlier, seat adjustments were also finalised with the Vanniyar-dominated PMK, led by S. Ramadoss, and the MDMK headed by Vaiko.
For the PMK, Mr. Sudheesh said the constituencies of Arani, Arakkonam, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, which overlapped in preference, were mutually “adjusted.”
The MDMK had to give up its stake for Kancheepuram (Reserved) and Chennai (Central), he added.
Asked if the DMDK would be willing to work for the victory of the PMK, considered its traditional rival in the northern districts, he said differences would have to be kept at bay for the sake of the alliance.
The BJP State president Pon Radhakrishnan said some “give and take” was still pending in seat sharing with other constituents of the alliance. A final list would be released on Sunday. The BJP will contest 8 seats.
Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam founder Tamilaruvi Manian, who served as the interlocutor for the MDMK, said Vaiko's party had been allotted seven seats.
The PMK, on the other hand, was given eight seats and the Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and the Indiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) get one seat each.
Vijayakant backs Modi
Meanwhile, Mr. Vijayakant, who avoided referring to allies during his campaign on Friday, categorically sought support for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Mr. Narendra Modi during his campaign in Arakkonam and Arani on Saturday.
Mr. Modi wished Mr. Vijayakant over the phone for the DMDK’s formal induction into the National Democratic Alliance.