Chennai: As DMDK leader Vijayakanth stares into a challenging and uncertain political future after the drubbing in the 2016 Assembly elections, the party is striving hard to prove that they are still the third force in the state, in a tough battle for political survival.
The actor and his wife Premalatha are determined to show the party’s strength in Thirupparankundram, which lies in Vijayakanth’s native district of Madurai, besides doing well in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur.
The party which was much sought after by other parties for alliance in the Assembly elections has been left alone this time and refused to seek the support of its previous allies in the PWA.
Both the AIADMK and DMK have weaned a large number of functionaries from the actor’s party and more exodus may follow if it fared poorly again. The DMDK which contested in 104 constituencies in 2016 got around 2.5 per cent votes, which is less than the 3.5 per cent votes got by the PWA which contested in the same number of seats.
Besides, the DMDK was able to the third position in 46 out of the 104 seats it contested. But, the PWA fared better coming third in 59 of the 104 constituencies where it was in the fray. After snapping ties with PWA, blaming the alliance with it for the debacle, the DMDK has the compulsion to prove a point to its former friends also.
The DMDK has polled 14.85 per cent votes in Thirupparankundram, in the 2006 Assembly elections and 14.96 per cent votes in 2009 Parliament elections when it contested alone. The party also won the seat in AIADMK alliance in 2011.
But, this time the party is struggling hard to do better than the BJP which garnered 3.9 per cent votes in the 2016 Assembly elections. The actor’s party has got over seven per cent votes in both Aravakurichi and Thanjavur when it went alone. Compared to the previous Assembly elections, thin crowds greeted Vijayakanth and Premalatha during the campaign and the response was not enthusiastic.
The party’s vote share of 10 per cent in the 2009 Parliament elections had come down to five per cent in 2014 Parliament polls and to 2.5 per cent in 2016 Assembly polls. A further dip will mean the end of the road for a party which rejected the offer of kingmaker and wanted to be the king, just a few months ago....