Chennai:The DMDK party, founded by actor Vijaykanth, is seemingly angry with the AIADMK, its coalition party, and has sent out signals of a possible break-up by calling for applications from its cadre to contest across the state.
Though the announcement of the schedule for the Assembly elections has led to hectic activity with leading parties trying to wrap up alliances and start campaigns, allies of the AIADMK are playing truant, demanding seats more than what is being offered to them by the coalition leader.
After the PMK, the ally with the biggest vote bank in northern Tamil Nadu, accepted the 23 seats that the AIADMK offered, talks with the BJP and the DMDK are said to have gone south, particularly the parleys with the BJP’s top honcho, Amit Shah, in Chennai on Sunday night.
The talks, in which both chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam took part, went on till late night as Mr Shah’s scheduled arrival to Chennai from the districts by road was delayed a bit.
Since the BJP did not make any announcements on the finalisation of the alliance, which Mr Shah had said he would do on Monday, doubts were being raised about whether the talks yielded substantial results.
Negotiations with the DMDK, however, seemed to have hit a dead-end with the party leaders not meeting AIADMK leader and minister P. Thangamani at his residence on Monday. In Sunday’s discussions, the demand placed by the DMDK for over 20 seats was rejected by the AIADMK.
If the DMDK snaps ties, the BJP might be offered a few more seats by the AIADMK. However, the dispute between the two parties is not likely to be resolved as the BJP is demanding some particular seats that the coalition leader is not agreeing to.
The BJP has identified and asked for certain constituencies where it sees a good chance for its candidates. But many of those seats are in the Western Kongu belt, the AIADMK's citadel, which the party does not want to lose.
It is also rumoured that the BJP would like to accommodate T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s AMMK in the alliance, which the AIADMK leaders are totally opposed to. While some sections of the BJP feel that by taking along Mr Dhinakaran’s party they could enhance their vote tally, the AIADMK feels that it would weaken their party.
Though Mr Vijayakanth's present posturing indicates the party is willing to go it alone, there is also talk that the DMDK might drift towards Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) which is open to the idea of forming a third front in the state.