Clear Picture on Coalitions Yet to Emerge in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: The AIADMK, which walked out of the NDA in September 2023, still remains unattached to any other political party even as the clock ticks for the finalization of alliances to fight the Lok Sabha polls, while its erstwhile partner, the BJP, had managed to find a few small allies and arch-rival DMK managed to keep its flock together by being generous on seat-sharing.

With the PMK and the DMDK that opened up channels of communication with both the AIADMK and BJP, now veering more towards the BJP after the AIADMK reportedly put their foot down on Rajya Sabha nominations, a common demand from both the parties, the AIADMK has no one left to be a potential ally.

The ousted erstwhile honchos of AIADMK, however, have managed to gravitate towards the BJP with T T V Dhinakaran, heading the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), announcing an alliance with the BJP and also stressing the need to bring back Narendra Modi as Prime Minister for the welfare of the country.

The BJP has also started talking to O Panneerselvam, who still nurses hopes of reclaiming the AIADMK through legal recourse someday, and a formal tie-up could happen soon though he has refused to contest on the BJP's symbol but opted for an independent symbol.

Two small parties that had pledged their support to the BJP are the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK), headed by R Sarathkumar, and the Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, led by John Pandian. Sarathkumar even visited the BJP office to discuss the seat allocation for his party. The India Jananayaga Katchi and the Puthiya Needhi Katchi have already agreed to contest under the BJP’s ‘Lotus’ symbol.’

Panneerselvam had reportedly demanded five seats for his faction of the AIADMK, though V K Sasikala, the other major player among those leaders ousted by the AIADMK with Edappadi K Palaniswami at the helm, is keeping away from all the action. Having moved into her new massive mansion in Poes Garden, opposite her longtime home, the iconic Veda Nilayam bungalow of J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala is aloof.

In the present three-cornered contest between the coalitions led by the DMK, AIADMK, and BJP, the primary fight will be between the DMK and its allies on one side and the AIADMK, with no one supporting it, on the other. The BJP, with the handful of small parties now backing it, could emerge as the second powerful coalition in the State if the PMK and the DMDK gravitate towards it.

But if the PMK and DMDK were to return to the AIADMK for talks and clinch deals with the Dravidian party, the election would turn out to be a real test for the BJP that would be able to test his real popularity in the State because none of its present allies have strong vote banks.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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