The DMK’s main strategy is to hold on to its vote share.

Whats the DMKs game-plan A look at the Dravidian majors comeback strategyImage: DMK leader Karunanidhi
news TN2016 Monday, March 21, 2016 - 19:44

Just as we thought that Vijayakanth-led DMDK was ready to face the elections without the DMK, a statement made by DMK Chief Karunanidhi on Monday morning has yet again opened the possibility of an alliance between the two parties.

But even as Karunanidhi was speaking to reporters stating that alliance talks are still on with the DMDK, Left parties hinted at a breakthrough in a possible alliance between the People’s Welfare Alliance and DMDK. Read the story here.

This comes just days after Vijayakanth announced at a party meet that he will be going it alone in the Tamil Nadu assembly polls.

Whether Vijayakanth finally agrees to be an ally of the DMK or not, the Dravidian movement’s grand old party is preparing to face the elections all by itself in a multi-cornered fight, and is now strategizing assuming the DMDK will not join them.

The DMK’s main strategy is to hold on to its vote share. According to the Puthiya Thalaimurai survey, if all parties contest individually then DMK will get 115 seats and AIADMK will get 119 seats. When people were which party they will vote, 32.83% respondents said DMK, and 33.13% chose AIADMK, which is a slender margin. 

The poll conducted by C-Voter for India TV projected that the DMK may get a boost this time to 101 seats from 31 last time. AIADMK is projected to win 116 seats, down from 203 seats 5 year ago, while the DMK may rise to 101 from 31 last time. 
AIADMK's vote share may fall to 41.1%, down from 51.9% last time, while the DMK-led alliance's vote share may stay stable at 39.5%, stated the C-Voter survey. 

The DMK will focus on the failures of the AIADMK party and will hope to benefit from the anti-incumbency factor.

Furthermore, DMK will be focusing on the issues which they came across during MK Stalin’s ‘Namakku Naame’ campaign. The Stalin campaign has got more than 4.5 lakh petitions, and those inputs are being used to prepare the election manifesto.

“Our main aim in the manifesto is to focus on rural economic development. We want to raise the issues of poverty in the state, that is the main problem in the state – no one has money in their hands,” said a source.

But even as it works on its campaign, insiders have told The News Minute that if Vijayakanth decides to join the DMK alliance, then the DMK will immediately reach out to VCK to try and get them on board. Back-channels are being kept open with the VCK, and a section of the party is confident that the Dalit party will break away from the PWF and contest polls with the DMK.

Further, there are also plans to ask the Congress central leadership to hold talks with the Left parties in Delhi for their state units to join the DMK alliance. “They are fighting the elections together in West Bengal, then why not here?” asked a DMK source.

Apart from this, two Muslim parties, IUML and MMK, and Dalit party Puthiya Thamizhagam have already joined the DMK alliance. DMK leaders also say they are in touch with actor Karthik for forging a partnership.

Meanwhile, DMK is working with several other smaller parties to strengthen its base and maintain its vote share.

On Friday, leaders from about nine parties reportedly met DMK leaders, according to TNIE.

One-third of the parties are based on religion, community and caste. The parties were Tamil Maanila Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Telugu Desam party (Karnataka), Puthiya Thalaimurai Katchi, Tamil Nadu Kannada Samudhayam, Namadhu Desam Katchi, Anaithu Makkal Viduthalai Katchi, Anna Makkal Iyakkam, Sivaji Samooga Nala Peravai, Tamil Nadu Bharathiya Republican Party, Nadaalum Telugu Makkal Katchi.

In the past one week, about 30 smaller parties have met DMK and shown an interest in having an alliance with it. Some of those parties are Periyar Ambedkar Munnetra Kazahgam, Jananayaka Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, All India True Christian Council and South India Viswa Kharma Munnetra Sangam.

Political observers point out how the landscape has changed over the decades. Gnani Sankaran says, “About 20 years ago in Tamil Nadu, no party was talking about being an alternative to DMK or AIADMK. Now, many parties are claiming to be an alternative to DMK and AIADMK. So, the public is also interested in alternative parties. A party like DMK is trying to pull in smaller parties which can increase their vote-share.”

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