AIADMK-DMDK split: Parting to hit both, Captain more

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Though the angry parting of ways between the AIADMK and DMDK was not wholly unexpected, the spite, suddenness and rancour that characterised the separation have jolted political observers.

Jayalalithaa had already put Vijayakanth on notice when she dumped him for the local body elections indicating that his usefulness was not needed beyond the Assembly elections. Vijayakanth should have anticipated this.

The Assembly fireworks were waiting to happen since both Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth have short fuses—the ‘body language’ of Captain betrayed his inability to distinguish between the floor of the Assembly and the studio floor. The AIADMK has been quick to portray the captain as the villain while Jayalalithaa has revealed she never wanted his alliance but gave in to pressures from party workers.

She even said the AIADMK tally would have been better minus the DMDK tie-up as there would have been 41 more seats for her party to contest and many would have been won. Vijaykanth has countered that it was the AIADMK that had wooed him relentlessly ahead of the April 2011 elections.

Whatever is the truth, the Assembly election results proved that both these parties profited by the tie-up. The DMDK’s presence ensured that the anti-DMK votes did not get splintered as in 2006 and 2009, while the alliance with the AIADMK helped the DMDK increase its tally from one to 29 even pushing the DMK to the third place.

True, Jayalalithaa proved that the AIADMK can win by itself as in the October polls, but that was also possible due to the momentum built by the win in the Assembly polls and a splintered opposition with even the DMK choosing to go alone.

The AIADMK’s go-it-alone line will be tested only during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which Jayalalithaa is most likely to fight all alone with maybe a few minor allies who may not seek seats.

The charismatic chief minister could be basing her calculation that this time the anti-AIADMK votes would get divided between the DMK-Congress and the DMDK. But that could go awry if Vijayakanth joins the DMK bandwagon through an understanding with the Congress, which could then lead to the consolidation of the anti-AIADMK votes.

However if Vijayakanth is left to fend for himself, he could get 10 per cent of votes but no Lok Sabha seat to show against that. He would then realise that converting votes into seats needed a strong alliance – something that the AIADMK had provided in 2011.

The DMK must be in a dilemma. On the surface, there could be smiles in Karunanidhi's Anna Arivalayam because of the AIADMK-DMDK split.

But Karunanidhi would know this would mean that his party, already stained by the spectru and bruised at the poll, must now contest against Captain for recognition as the main campaigner against the government.

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