Tamilnadu parties hold secret parleys for alliance in Lok Sabha elections

Chennai: A lot is happening, but nothing in the open. Political parties in Tamilnadu are holding closed-door and hush-hush meetings with prospective alliance partners for the Lok Sabha elections and are maintaining details about the developments as closely-guarded secret. Even second-rung leaders are not being kept in the loop, in a bid to maintain confidentiality, say sources in at least two parties.

This is mainly because, it is understood, some parties are holding talks with both the ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK. “Their leaders believe that they would lose their bargaining power if alliance talks with a particular party are held in the open. Hence, they are maintaining secrecy,” sources say, adding that announcements would be made only after “deals” are finalised.

For instance, a particular party, known as the eternal fence-sitter, is said to be toying with the twin idea of either partnering with one of the big parties or forging an alliance with small outfits. “Everything is based on the number of seats and other things to be assured by the big brother,” a source says.

Another party, led by a ‘firebrand leader’, sees the upcoming elections as a prestige issue – not in terms of victory but in terms of the number of constituencies it gets from its ally. “If the expectation is not fulfilled, the party would not hesitate to switch over to the opposite camp,” another source informs.

There are at least three other parties which have kept their doors open for alliance. When asked about this, Anandaraj, who teaches management to students of a business school and has a keen eye for politics, says, “Earlier, alliances were formed between like-minded parties. But, now, things have reached a stage in Tamilnadu that there should not be any surprise even if the AIADMK and the DMK forge partnership.”

On the secret talks, he said, “I don’t see anything wrong in it given the present scenario. After all, secrecy is an essential thing in politics which has become a game of power and money. Moreover, who are we to decide when people are getting ready to seal their fate in the polls?”

M Bhaskar Sai