TN’s third front PWF-DMDK performance dismal, PMK holds on to vote-share

TN’s third front PWF-DMDK performance dismal, PMK holds on to vote-share
TN’s third front PWF-DMDK performance dismal, PMK holds on to vote-share
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The much talked about third front in Tamil Nadu, a group of parties including Left, Dalit party VCK and Vaiko’s MDMK – under the umbrella of People’s Welfare Front – along with Vijayakant’s DMDK and GK Vasan’s TMC, has put up a dismal performance in the 2016 polls so far. Across the state, the PWF-DMDK-TMC front has won no seats, according to the ECI. Meanwhile, the PMK has also lost all seats, but has kept it vote-share intact.

VCK chief Thirumavalavan and DMDK chief Vijayakant have lost in Kattumannarkoil and Ulundurpet respectively. The DMDK has polled 2.4% of the votes so far, while PMK stands at 5.3%.

The third front was stitched up by MDMK’s Vaiko and came to be headed by DMDK’s Vijayakanth later on. After a failed attempt at patching up an alliance with AIADMK, the TMC too walked into the alliance. 

The PWF-DMDK-TMC alliance was widely believed to be a poser to the two major Dravidian parties which have kept the politics of the state bipolar since the 1970s.

In the run up to the polls, massive electoral corruption was reported across Tamil Nadu, forcing the EC to postpone the elections in two constituencies, Aravakurichi and Thanjaviur. Several leaders of the PWF including Vaiko and G Ramakrishnan have raised the issue during the campaign period.

The performance of the DMDK has also come as a big blow to the Vijayakant- led DMDK too, which was touted to be a kingmaker before the polls. In the 2011 polls the DMDK has notched up nearly 8% of the votes, although it was in alliance with the AIADMK. Vijayakant was considered by many as a viable challenge to both the AIADMK and the DMK.

Meanwhile, the PMK took a gamble and went along in the elections, refusing to join hands with either of the Dravidian parties, or the BJP. Anbumani Ramadoss was the lead campaigner and CM candidate of the party.

Political analyst TN Gopalan says:

"The disastrous performance is possibly a result of the silly antics of Vaiko and the equally ridiculous outbursts of Vijaykant.

Together they succeeded in making the 3rd front a laughing stock, field reports said repeatedly. But the Left or VCK didnt have it in them to rein in the loose cannons and they are paying the price.

If Vijaykant had moved over to the DMK, it would have been a different ball game. One doesn't play ducks and drakes with a such mass party like Kalaignar's. He would have been a lot more restrained.

It's not without reason many think Vaiko virtually dragged Captain in, even while the other partners were looking on uncomfortably, only because he didn't want DMK to win. For him ruining his bete noire Stalin's chances to become CM was far more important than the 3rd front's retaining a measure of respectability.

It is sad indeed the third option has turned out to be a mirage."

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