Chennai: After putting up spirited shows in the previous Assembly and Parliamentary elections, Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) is now in danger of losing state party status, thanks to its dismal performance in the just concluded polls.
DMDK's rout in the May 2016 election has resulted in it failing to meet all Election Commission guidelines on State Party status regarding vote share and number of seats. DMDK's vote share plummeted to 2.4 per cent in the 2016 Assembly polls from 7.88 per cent in 2011, even as the party failed to return a single legislator.
The EC guidelines mandate that a political party has to not only get six per cent of total votes polled, but also return at least two members to the state Assembly in the last general election, ie. the May 16 polls.
Further the guidelines also make it clear that a party has to get a six percent vote share in the last Parliamentary Polls and return at least one member, which DMDK has not.
In the 2014 polls, the party did not win a single seat of the 14 constituencies it contested as the NDA partner and registered a vote share of just 5.1 per cent. It has also failed to meet the requirement of having secured eight per cent of total votes both in the last Lok Sabha elections or Assembly polls, in the event of not returning a single member.
While contesting from 104 seats for the May 16 polls, DMDK, which was actively wooed by DMK and BJP before Vijayakanth struck a poll pact with Vaiko-led PWF, lost all seats with the founder himself relegated to the third spot in Ulunthurpet.
Starting off on a positive note in the 2006 polls, DMDK made its electoral debut that year with Vijayakant being elected from Vriddachalam, just a year after he floated his Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.
The party started off on an eight per cent vote share mark and bettered it in the 2009 Parliamentary polls reaching 10.1 per cent, even as it ensured a 7.88 percent vote share in 2011 when the party aligned with Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK for the Assembly elections.
The party not only won the 29 of the 41 seats it had contested from, but also became the main Opposition. However,
DMDK could not consolidate on the gains as it fared badly in the local body polls in 2011 which it faced by itself even as a spat between Vijayakanth and Jayalalithaa ensured the alliance between the two ended.
At the fag end of the previous 14th Assembly, eight of the dissident DMDK MLAs resigned, which resulted in Vijayakanth being stripped off his Opposition Leader status....