After seat-sharing talks fail, DMDK hints at going it alone

After the DMDK failed to reach a seat-sharing agreement with the AIADMK on Monday, its deputy general secretary L.K. Sudhish, who is also the brother-in-law of party founder Vijayakant, indicated on social media that the DMDK may fight the Assembly election alone and project Mr. Vijayakant as its Chief Ministerial candidate.

However, it remains to be seen whether this is yet another attempt by the DMDK to put pressure on the AIADMK or an indication that it hopes to stitch together and lead a credible alliance, like it did in the 2016 Assembly election.

Mr. Sudhish posted an image on social media, stating: “Vijayakant is our Chief Minister; Murasu is our symbol; Our flag is the DMDK party flag.”

Doubts about the continuation of the DMDK in the AIADMK-led alliance were raised following murmurs that the seat-sharing discussions had hit a roadblock on Monday. Sources in the DMDK and the AIADMK said the latter was unwilling to meet the former’s demand that it be treated on a par with the PMK and be allotted the same number of seats.

Reportedly, the AIADMK agreed to allot only half the number of seats (around 10-12) allotted to the PMK (23), which was unacceptable to the DMDK leadership. The DMDK has often reiterated that it must be treated with the same level of respect accorded to the PMK.

From the DMDK’s perspective, the AIADMK had bent over backwards to accommodate the PMK by allotting 23 Assembly seats to it after agreeing to its demand for internal reservation for Vanniyars within the Most Backward Class quota. The ruling AIADMK had passed a law to provide 10.5% internal reservation for Vanniyars within the MBC quota.

Sources privy to the discussions said the AIADMK felt the DMDK would not make a huge difference to its alliance, as Mr. Vijayakant’s health had worsened and his party’s relevance in the political arena had dwindled.

Mr. Sudhish’s announcement came late in the evening on Monday, after it was revealed that he may meet Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to discuss alliance matters on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 6:05:55 PM |

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