Chennai: Learning a lesson or two from past polls, in which the DMK ‘believes’ its decision to allot more constituencies to alliance partners cost it dearly, the party, now led by M K Stalin, is apparently in no mood to share more seats with its ‘friends’ in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
If sources are to be believed, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) wants to contest in 30 (out of 39) seats in Tamilnadu leaving only nine constituencies to alliance parties.
“The present mood of DMK high command is to field its own candidates in not less than 30 seats and to give five constituencies (four in Tamilnadu and the lone seat in Puducherry) to the Congress and one each to the CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, VCK and IUML,” says a source, adding: “This time, the DMK wants to adopt the strategy of Jayalalithaa – be tough with alliance parties.”
A DMK leader says, “We are in a strong position under the leadership of Thalapathi (Stalin) and will contest in as many constituencies as possible. People are fed up with both the State and the Central governments and want to vote for us. The high command will decide about seat-sharing and other things.”
But not everyone, especially alliance leaders, is happy with this strategy of the DMK.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko, on Monday, asked Stalin, whom he has supported on common issues for over a year, to make clear the party’s stand on coalition after DMK veteran Duraimurugan remarked that only the Congress and IUML are its allies “as of now”.
Duraimurugan, who is now the treasurer of the party, had recently told a Tamil television channel that “as of now, only the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League are allies of the DMK”.
According to Duraimurugan, MDMK, Thol Thirumavalavan-led Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, CPI and CPI(M) are only friendly parties as of now and no electoral pact exists between DMK and them.
Vaiko asked Stalin to make known his stand on the coalition. “Our cadres across Tamilnadu are saddened. Duraimurugan has aired his views. Let the DMK president make his opinion known,” Vaiko told reporters in Pudukottai.
Tamilnadu Congress Committee president S Thirunavukkarasar has, however, sought to play down the issue, and said Duraimurugan never stated that parties like the MDMK or VCK would not be taken on board the DMK-led alliance in the State.
“Duraimurugan had only said these parties are not part of the DMK alliance as of now.”
Thirumavalavan, in a terse reply, said, “We are only friends.”