Despite the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) getting exposed publicly on Wednesday over its attempts to reach out to rival camps simultaneously, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) appears to be giving some more allowance to the DMDK for joining its front.
The ruling party’s leaders including M. Thambi Durai, the party propaganda secretary and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, O. S. Manian, Handlooms Minister and Nagapattinam district unit secretary and D. Jayakumar, Fisheries Minister and organising secretary, separately at different places on Thursday, sounded receptive to the idea of keeping the DMDK with them. Mr. Jayakumar said his party’s offer was still valid.
The AIADMK is persisting on its stand of keeping the other party under its fold as it feels obliged not to disturb the arrangement that BJP Tamil Nadu election in-charge and Union Minister Piyush Goyal, has worked out with the DMDK, says a senior leader of the ruling party.
The leader recalls how Mr. Goyal, after having taken part at an event to get signed the electoral pact between the AIADMK and the BJP a few weeks ago, had rushed to the residence of the DMDK’s leader Vijayakant for getting the deal through.
Even though the ruling party’s emissaries and Ministers, P. Thangamani and S.P. Velumani, have picked up the thread from where Mr. Goyal left, as far as finalising the details of the proposed electoral tie-up is concerned, the Union Minister remains an important link between the front and the DMDK. The AIADMK does not like to be known as one that has acted in haste. It is for this reason that the party wants to adopt a cautious and patient approach vis-à-vis the DMDK, the leader explains.
Another leader of the Dravidian party says that his party’s leadership is particular about being accommodative of the DMDK. This is why Mr. Jayakumar was sent to Mr. Vijayakant’s house along with the party’s coordinator O. Panneerselvam on Monday as a measure of mollifying the sentiments of the DMDK leaders who were reportedly upset over the Fisheries Minister’s recent remark that his organisation might not be bothered if the party led by Mr. Vijayakant did not join the front.
On the BJP’s insistence for the DMDK, a leader of the national party says that in 2018 Assembly elections to Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, his party could not become successful as it lost narrowly. It does not want similar outcome to get repeated in Tamil Nadu during the Lok Sabha polls.
Consequently, it is in no mood to ignore the value of smaller parties such as the DMDK and the Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar), whose combined voteshare was 3% during the 2016 Assembly polls.
Their role would be crucial where the contest is close, the leader explains, adding that in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s nominee C.P. Radhakrishnan lost by a margin of about 42,000 votes. Also, both the AIADMK and the BJP feel that the tag – mega alliance – would sound more credible if the two smaller parties join the front.