Tamil actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam on Sunday formed an alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam after weeks of intense negotiations ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as well as the bye-polls in Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK has already formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Pattali Makkal Katchi and some smaller parties for the general elections. Voting to elect the 17th Lok Sabha will take place in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. The votes will be counted on May 23. Tamil Nadu will go to the polls on April 18 in the second phase.
According to the seat-sharing agreement between the DMDK and the AIADMK, Vijayakanth’s party will contest in four seats in the state. The ruling party in Tamil Nadu has given the BJP five seats to contest from, and the Pattali Makkal Katchi seven.
In 2014, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam contested the election on its own and won 37 seats. The BJP and Pattali Makkal Katchi won one seat each. The DMDK, however, won none. Several reports had claimed that the DMDK was reluctant to stitch up an alliance with the AIADMK because it wanted a Rajya Sabha seat as well as seven seats to contest from.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami and DMDK chief Vijayakanth signed the agreement on Sunday. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Cabinet members, DMDK treasurer and Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha, and her brother, Deputy General Secretary LK Sudheesh, were also present.
“It is an alliance with an emotional bonding,” Panneerselvam said after the agreement was signed, according to The Hindu.
Premalatha claimed the two parties were “natural allies” and that numbers did not matter. “What is important is thinking on the same lines,” she was quoted as saying. “This alliance has been hogging the limelight for the last 15 days.”
“The AIADMK and the DMDK always make a successful alliance [which] is explained by the victory achieved by the two parties in the 2011 Assembly polls,” she added. “Puratchi Thalaivi [former CM J Jayalalithaa] and Captain [Vijayakanth] together formed the winnable alliance and this alliance will also prove that tomorrow is ours and forty seats are also ours. We will make a crowning achievement.”