National

Vijayakant joins Vaiko-led PWF for TN polls

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018

Poll pact (From left) CPI(M) leader G Ramakrishnan, MDMK chief Vaiko, DMDK head Vijayakant, VCK leader Thirumavalavan and CPI leader R Mutharasan announcing the alliance in Chennai on Wednesday

Vijayakant declared as chief ministerial candidate of the alliance. File Photo

Vijayakant declared as chief ministerial candidate of the alliance. File Photo

‘Captain’ will be CM candidate of People’s Welfare Front alliance

The suspense ends in Tamil Nadu. The Vijayakant-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) has allied with the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) for the coming Assembly elections.

The DMDK and the PWF, a four-party alliance comprising Vaiko’s MDMK, the CPI, CPI(M) and the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal, announced in a formal statement on Wednesday they have entered into an alliance to face the elections to the State Assembly.

The allies said Vijayakant — popularly referred to as ‘Captain’ — will be the chief minister candidate.

The DMDK will contest 124 constituencies and the PWF 110, in the elections to be held on May 16. This covers all the 234 constituencies in the State.

For now this makes it a five-cornered contest in the State, with the others in the fray being the ruling AIADMK with a group of small political parties; the DMK and the Congress; the PMK; and the BJP.

Third alternative

In what has traditionally been a two-horse race for power between the AIADMK and the DMK in the State, the DMDK, founded by actor-turned politician Vijayakant, is being projected as an alternative. In recent weeks the DMK, BJP and the PWF have been wooing him to join their respective alliances.

The DMDK has had a chequered track record in the State. In the 2011 Assembly elections it allied with AIADMK and won 29 of the 41 seats it contested. It even displaced the DMK as the main opposition party in the Assembly.

But Vijayakant subsequently fell out with the ruling party. In the 2014 elections to the Parliament it allied with the BJP but failed to win even a single seat.

CPI(M) leader A Soundarajan, who is also the State general secretary of CITU, said the alliance brings together all the major parties opposing the AIADMK and the DMK.

Vote base

The combination of the PWF and the DMDK, with Vijayakant as the chief minister candidate, will bring in synergy beyond just the arithmetic vote base to present an alliance as a counter to both the Dravidian parties facing corruption charges.

The huge bank of new, young voters is looking for a change, a government that will give a clean administration, he said. There is also strong dissatisfaction among various segments of industry, particularly the MSMEs, textile sector including handloom and power looms, and in the industrial hubs where there have been job losses due to the inefficiency of the ruling AIADMK, he said.

Published on March 23, 2016

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