Alliance arithmetic

At last, the cat is out of the bag with the Dravidian giants of Tamilnadu – the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the main Opposition, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – finalising their alliance deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Tuesday was a day of negotiations in Tamilnadu politics. While the AIADMK signed deals with the PMK and BJP after discussions in Chennai and talks were on with the DMDK, the DMK was in action in New Delhi where its senior leaders were closeted with their Congress counterparts.

It is expected that along with Lok Sabha elections, the by-poll to the 21 vacant Assembly constituencies in Tamilnadu will also take place. The AIADMK has made a smart move by making the PMK and BJP extend their support to it in the crucial by-elections whose outcome could decide the fate of the State government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. It will be interesting to see what the DMK and its alliance partners decide in this regard.

In the meantime, both fronts are sounding optimistic about their prospects in the general elections. Tamilnadu Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam said, “The AIADMK and BJP will have an alliance for Lok Sabha elections which will be a mega, winning alliance.” Union Minister and BJP’s election in-charge for TN, Piyush Goyal, said, “We will support the AIADMK in the by-elections to 21 Assembly seats in Tamilnadu. We have agreed to contest elections under the leadership of OPS and EPS in the State and the leadership of Modi Ji in the Centre.” For his part, DMK president M K Stalin dubbed the alliance as opportunistic and said the DMK-led front would emerge victorious in the polls. Whose alliance arithmetic strikes a chord with the people will be known in the coming months.

NT Bureau