BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Chennai: Vaiko’s Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), which contested both the 2006 assembly election and the 2009 Lok Sabha election in alliance with Jayalilthaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), is likely to break away from the alliance.
Upset with an offer of only eight seats for the forthcoming Tamil Nadu assembly election, when the party is seeking at least 12seats, Vaiko has convened a high-level meeting on March 19 to decide on his party’s future course.
“Jayalalithaa is overconfident. She thinks she can win the election and is kicking out old allies. She cannot take us for granted,” fumed a senior MDMK leader. “For more than six years we identified our party with the AIADMK. She cannot treat us like this,” the leader, who did not want to be named, told BeyondHeadlines.
“Even if our vote bank has eroded because of our alliance with the AIADMK, we still have 3,000 to 5,000 votes in every constituency and at least 10,000 to 15,000 votes in 30 constituencies,” said another MDMK leader.
A one-time confidante of chief minister M Karunanidhi, Vaiko broke away from the DMK in 1993 after being accused of conspiring with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to assassinate the DMK chief. He formed the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which largely rode on the plank of the civil war in Sri Lanka and the plight of Tamils in the island nation. But it failed to win him mass acceptance. The last five years also saw some MDMK heavyweights and cadres leaving the party to join the DMK.
Erosion in MDMK’s vote bank must have weighed in Jayalalithaa’s mind in her decision to offer her “loyal, trusted ally” just eight seats. In 2006 MDMK won just 6 of 35 assembly seats it contested and in the 2009 parliamentary election it drew blank.
The fate of the AIADMK-MDMK alliance is still uncertain. With Jayalalitha all set to kick off her campaign on March 17, the decision to continue in the alliance is now with Vaiko. It also remains to be seen if AIADMK supremo will indulge her loyal ally and concede more than eight seats.