Tamil Nadu

TN Assembly polls | After talks fail, DMDK quits AIADMK-BJP alliance

DMDK leader Vijayakant along with party leaders addressing the party district secretaries meeting on Tuesday   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) on Tuesday quit the AIADMK-BJP alliance after three rounds of unsuccessful seat sharing talks with the AIADMK for the April 6 Assembly elections.

DMDK founder Vijayakant in a statement said the two parties could not agree on the number of seats and identify the constituencies. “At the [party] district secretaries’ meeting, there was a consensus. Based on that, we have decided to leave the AIADMK-BJP alliance,” he said.

“It is Deepavali today for DMDK. The AIADMK will lose deposit in every seat. AIADMK leader K.P. Munusamy acted as PMK’s sleeper cell in the AIADMK,” charged party deputy general secretary and Mr Vijayakant’s brother-in-law LK Sudhish.

While the AIADMK disapproved of his comments and described the DMDK’s exit as “unfortunate”, some BJP second-line leaders took a soft stand saying Mr Vijayakant must reconsider his decision.

Party treasurer Premalatha Vijayakant, had all along insisted that the DMDK should be treated “with respect” and on a par with the PMK, which has been allotted 23 Assembly constituencies in the alliance. This was the party’s stance even during the last Lok Sabha elections when it dragged its feet protesting at being given four seats as opposed to the PMK’s seven.

The DMDK had originally demanded 41 seats similar to what it was given in 2011 but climbed down to 25 seats and later reduced it to 23.

Sources in the party said the AIADMK was unwilling to go beyond 13-15 seats and had reportedly said it would fund the candidates directly.

An aspiring DMDK candidate from south Tamil Nadu claimed that the DMDK leadership lost the trust of AIADMK after it failed to spend the money set aside for each Parliamentary seat transparently.

“The money given by AIADMK to fight elections was not utilised fully. The AIADMK leadership realised this and have now refused to give the party any money to fight elections. Instead, they said that they will take care of expenses themselves. This is one of the main reasons why this has not worked out,” he claimed.

DMDK deputy general secretary, B. Parthasarathi, however denied the charge and insisted that the issue was only about allotment of seats and not funding. He told The Hindu that the decision to leave the alliance was taken by Mr Vijayakant himself.

“We could not come to an agreement and our leader decided that we leave the alliance. What we do next - whether we contest alone or join some other alliance is up to our leader. We will know in due course of time," he said.

Later in the day, DMDK leadership was engaged in a discussion with Makkal Needhi Maiam leaders about the possibility of fighting the elections together. DMDK is also reportedly considering contesting alone.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 12:28:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-assembly-polls-after-talks-fail-dmdk-quits-aiadmk-bjp-alliance/article34026416.ece

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