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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tamil Nadu polls: AIADMK forced us to quit alliance, says DMDK treasurer Premalatha

Wife of actor Vijayakant, Premalatha, alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami did not give respect to her party and kept delaying seat-sharing talks.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: March 15, 2021 4:52:03 pm
DMDK treasurer PremalathaDMDK treasurer Premalatha addresses reporters in Chennai on Monday. (Express Photo: Janardhan Koushik)

DMDK treasurer and wife of actor Vijayakant, Premalatha, has alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi-led AIADMK forced them to quit the alliance by delaying seat-sharing talks.

Addressing reporters a day after the party signed a poll-pact with AMMK, Premalatha said TTV Dhinakaran will be their chief ministerial candidate and their alliance will emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.

“We had four rounds of talks with the AIADMK committee but nothing materialised. They were the ones to initiate talks through BJP and we formed the alliance. Even during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they signed the deal with us at the last moment, giving us four seats,” she said.

Premalatha added, “They forced us to contest from certain constituencies which were not a part of our wish list. For example, our candidate who has great support in Salem was made to contest from Chennai (North).  In the local-body elections, several AIADMK cadres contested against us. These things did affect us and we lost the elections in all four constituencies. To avoid these, we were asking the AIADMK high command to initiate seat-sharing talks. They kept delaying and showed a very indifferent attitude towards our party.”

She further slammed Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for calling DMDK a party which lacks maturity. “Annan (brother) Edappadi has issued a statement that we lack maturity, but in reality, he is the one who is not mature enough to treat his allies respectfully. We had asked for 41 seats and then came down to 25, but the AIADMK was stubborn regarding giving us only 13 seats. Our leader Vijayakant did not accept this. We even told the AIADMK to give us time to convince our leader but they said that it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer. We were not even given a choice to pick the constituencies and were told that the AIADMK will be deciding that after the poll pact was signed. People say that DMDK’s vote share has reduced over the years and that is because we are never given the seats we wanted. If our allies sideline us, how do we win? We are leaving the NDA alliance with a heavy heart,” she added.

Due to his medical condition, DMDK founder Vijayakant won’t be contesting the upcoming elections. However, party functionaries said their leader will take part in the final phase of the campaign.  Premalatha will be making her electoral debut in the upcoming election, contesting from the Virudhachalam constituency.

The AMMK-led alliance has allotted 60 seats to DMDK, six seats to SDPI and three seats to Asaduddin Owaisi’s party.

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