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Failing NDA-AIADMK plans, DMK-Vijayakanth alliance talks enter final stage

DMDK's demand to get a Rajya Sabha seat for Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha is still under negotiations.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
February 26, 2019 10:07:36 am
DMDK leader Vijayakanth (Express archive)

After multiple roadblocks delayed the talks between AIADMK-NDA alliance and Captain Vijayakanth’s DMDK for over a week, the winner seems to be DMK. Top sources in DMK and DMDK confirm that their talks entered the final stage on Monday night with DMK promising four Lok Sabha seats to DMDK. DMDK’s demand to get a Rajya Sabha seat for Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha is still under negotiations.

Talks of DMK and DMDK were mostly held between two individuals – Premalatha’s brother L K Sudheesh, a film producer turned politician, and Sabareesan, DMK Chief M K Stalin’s son-in-law who has now emerged as an influential figure in party’s key deals.

In 2016 assembly polls, the seat difference between AIADMK and DMK was 36. While AIADMK was the winner with 134 seats, DMK had 98. However, the difference of vote share between the two parties was just 1.03 per cent (AIADMK- 41.06 per cent, DMK alliance – 40.03 per cent). A senior DMK leader said DMDK had 2.41 % in the previous polls, much above the vote difference that defeated DMK. “That is the factor that made us consider an alliance with DMDK,” he said.

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A senior DMDK leader said what had finally irked them and escalate talks with DMK was the critical remarks from AIADMK ministers on Monday who said that they were absolutely fine without DMDK. Senior ministers D Jayakumar and KT Rajendra Balaji on Monday made comments against DMDK’s demand for four seats and a Rajya Sabha seat and even challenged DMDK’s claims on their vote bank. A senior AIADMK minister had last week confirmed to The Indian Express that they have decided not to give more than three seats to DMDK as “they are not worth for more than three” even if BJP was ready to give four or five.

Read: Confident DMK works out seats with Congress

As final talks between DMK and DMDK is still on, sources said DMDK may compromise on Rajya Sabha seat demand as the winning chances of all the four seats in DMK alliance is more. “We hope that at least three out of four seats we can win in DMK alliance. We have demanded four seats from four zones (north, west, central and South) of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Meantime, a top source in DMK said they deal has been almost finalised and the announcement will come before Thursday. “They were offered a maximum three in AIADMK-NDA alliance. We are giving four,” the leader said.

Read: With ‘Brahminical’ BJP by its side, AIADMK bets on PMK base to bridge caste gap

The entry of DMDK into DMK alliance will have minor setbacks on other alliance parents such as CPM and MDMK, a party led by Vaiko. Both parties have been demanding for two seats each from DMK alliance and they were told to wait as DMDK talks were indecisive for over a week. Sources in DMK said Vaiko demanded Trichy, for himself to contest, and Erode, while CPM also demanded two seats. “Erode may go to Congress for the veteran leader EVKS Elangovan to contest. CPM may get Madurai or Kanyakumari since we cannot give them Nagapattinam and they do not prefer North Chennai constituencies,” the leader said.

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