news Monday, June 22, 2015 - 05:30
  His legion of fans have seen him perform physics-defying stunts on the silver screen, but DMDK chieftain and former matinee idol Vijaykanth's yoga session at 6 AM on June 21 is likely to be his most-discussed stunt among both political parties and meme generators.  With DMDK backing Modi government’s 'International Yoga Day' campaign, it is likely to put a short-term plug on Vijaykanth's rumoured dilly-dallies with the DMK. Political circles in Chennai were abuzz last week after the DMDK, which is part of the NDA alliance, reportedly sent out feelers to DMK demanding to contest 90 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections. Though DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi strongly denied the speculation, some noted it as a tactic by the attention-seeking Vijaykanth who wants the BJP to announce him as the front's CM candidate.  Sources in the state unit of the BJP say that they share a warm relationship with DMDK and the alliance is intact. Remember, Vijaykanth's wife Premalatha was one of the few persons singled out by Modi after the 2014 Lok Sabha victory, praising her pre-poll campaign work in Tamil Nadu's unrelenting summer. BJP also realises the importance of DMDK, as Vaiko-led MDMK has quit the alliance and the PMK continues to be the proverbial 'cat on the wall.' Though BJP maintains cordial relations with the impatient and highly ambitious ‘Captain’ who has nursed Chief-ministerial ambitions ever since he set foot in politics in 2006, they have exercised caution in not ceding too much ground to him. Towering ambitions apart, neither the DMK nor the BJP would take DMDK - the second largest party in the state assembly - any less seriously. Despite the party's declining popularity, it still commands more than 5 percent of the votes in the state and could swing the election in many seats. This also explains the Central government's strategic moves to keep the alliance intact, as also DMK's overtures to keep up warm relations with Vijaykant.