Alliance arithmetic of AIADMK, DMK ahead of crucial Vellore election

Chennai: It’s not for coalition dharma alone that the AIADMK and DMK stuck to their promise of giving one Rajya Sabha seat to the PMK and MDMK, respectively, say political observers.

“More than alliance pacts, if they want to win the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, election for which is set to happen 5 August, they need to keep their partners in good humour. With the PMK holding considerable clout in Vellore and given the campaigning skills of MDMK chief Vaiko, the AIADMK and DMK high commands have no other choice than to allocate one RS seat each to these parties. The upcoming civic polls is another reason,” they say.

“Though the DMK-Congress-MDMK-VCK-CPI-CPI(M)-IUML made a clean sweep in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, the anointment of DMK president M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin as the party’s youth wing head has not gone down well with everyone and the AIADMK is planning to highlight ‘dynasty politics’ in Vellore.

Vaiko, if not given the Rajya Sabha seat as assured, would have made it a huge issue as he floated the MDMK more than two decades ago opposing Stalin’s ‘growth’ in the DMK. Moreover, if the DMK failed to stick to its promise, it would have sent wrong signals to other partners too, say sources, pointing out that Stalin himself had accompanied Vaiko when he went to the Secretariat Saturday to file his nomination papers.

As far as the AIADMK is concerned, the PMK has become its vocal supporter ever since the Ramadoss-led outfit struck an alliance deal with the ruling party in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections. “True that the AIADMK-PMK-BJP-DMDK-PT front was washed out in the polls. But, in a bid to establish themselves as credible leaders and to get the PMK’s support in Vanniyar-dominated Vellore, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam went ahead with the pre-poll arrangement and gave a Rajya Sabha seat to Anbumani Ramadoss,” sources say.

Also, the AIADMK now wants to prove its might in the local body elections to compensate for its loss in LS polls. For that, it requires the support of allies, add sources.

“Vanniyars, Mudaliars and Muslims form the majority of voters in Vellore. Hence, the AIADMK fielded A C Shanmugam (Mudaliar) there, gave Rajya Sabha seats to Anbumani (Vanniyar) and Mohammed Jan (Muslim),” they point out.

Since AIADMK and DMK have decided to field only three candidates each including their allies, polling is unlikely for the biennial elections for six Rajya Sabha seats. But, RS victory has got a lot to do with Vellore LS election, civic polls and more.

M Bhaskar Sai