Captain Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam is in all sorts of trouble. The party which joined hands with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, hit a new low by securing just 2.19% of vote share in Tamil Nadu.
Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the DMDK held parallel negotiations talks with both Dravidian parties DMK and AIADMK, before sealing a pact with the latter for four seats. The party faced a severe backlash for their parallel negotiations, DMK’s treasurer Durai Murugan openly stated that DMDK had sent their representatives to secure seats in the DMK-led alliance and he showed them the exit door as they came in the eleventh hour with everything sorted in their camp. He also added DMDK cannot be trusted as they keep changing their stand.
In response to Duraimurugan’s statement, Ms Premalatha Vijayakanth, the DMDK treasurer addressed a press conference at the party office on 8th of March where she blamed Duraimurugan of making a false allegation for his party’s electoral gain. She added that her party’s representatives met him only as a courtesy call and It was nothing related to politics. Premalatha’s attempt to cover up the mishap didn’t work well as the reporters began to ask some tough questions on her party and it’s stand.
The press meet which was supposed to do the damage control backfired on DMDK as Premalatha lost her cool and started getting aggressive with journalists. She also evaded all questions on the alliance.
Despite the flak she received, Premalatha continued being the face of the party along with her brother L.K.Sudeesh, the general secretary of DMDK. With party founder Vijayakanth’s health preventing him from getting actively involved in campaigning for his party, Premalatha took full charge.
Instead of talking about what their party would do for the state, Premalatha was solely focussed on criticizing the DMK and Congress alliance. With no senior leaders around her Premalatha’s attempt to fill into the shoes of an ailing Vijayakanth paid no rewards and only turned matters worse.
DMDK was formed in 2005 when the Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa were active in politics. In the 2006 general elections, Vijayakanth contested alone and made heads turn by putting an impressive show of securing 8.38% vote share. In the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, their vote share further increased to 10.3%. The party was seen as the alternative to the Dravidian giants.
In the 2011 general elections, Vijayakanth stepped aside from his principle of contesting alone and joined hands with AIADMK. Though the coalition was successful, as it dethroned DMK from power, it was kind of a setback for DMDK. Their vote percentage was reduced to 7.9%.
After getting involved in a verbal war with former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the state assembly, Captain Vijayakanth was in all sorts of trouble. Their vote bank saw a steady decline. In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, DMDK joined the NDA alliance and their vote share slid to 5.1%. In the 2016 assembly elections, they joined the broadbased Left-Dalit alliance and their vote share got reduced to 3%. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, they contested in North Chennai, Kallakurichi, Trichy and Virudhunagar and lost all the four seats. Their vote percentage was reduced to 2.19%. From winning a single seat on their debut to securing 29 seats in 2011 elections, Vijayakanth’s DMDK is now struggling to win a single seat.
Due to persistent poor performances, DMDK’s recognition as a state-party is in jeopardy. They might end up losing their Murasu (Drum) symbol, on which they had been contesting since their debut.
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