CHENNAI:The efforts of the Left parties (CPI and CPM) to form an alternative front in Tamil Nadu for the forthcoming Assembly elections has opened the possibility of a four-cornered contest as the BJP too has vowed to lead an alliance to challenge the major Dravidian parties — the AIADMK and DMK.
The formation of such a front will also pose a threat to the DMK’s bid to form a mega alliance to challenge the powerful AIADMK single-handedly. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a five-cornered contest split the anti-AIADMK votes and helped the ruling party to win 37 out of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu.
If the Left succeeds in bringing more parties into their fold, the DMK is likely to face a similar situation in the forthcoming Assembly elections. Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK, which faced a raw deal in the DMK front in the seat negotiations for the 2014 Parliament elections, is closely working with the Left parties in formation of an alternative alliance. Although, Thol did not rule out an alliance with the AIADMK or DMK, the leaders of both the Left parties have openly spoken about an alliance without the major Dravidian parties.
The CPM politburo member and State secretary G Ramakrishnan said the Left parties would form an alliance on the basis of opposition to corruption, communalism and anti-people policies. Although, the CPM Central leadership had not categorically come out against an alliance with the DMK and AIADMK, Ramakrishnan accused the DMK of not showing firmness in opposing the communal and casteist forces.
The CPI, which was initially reluctant, had fallen in line and its State secretary R Mutharasan said the Communist parties and parties like the VCK fighting against communal and casteist forces should join hands without worrying about the election results. Such a move would help the formation of a strong alternative front in Tamil Nadu in the longer run, he opined.The CPM leaders had approached Vaiko’s MDMK, for forming a broad-based axis to fight on common issues affecting the people. With Vaiko too responding positively to the suggestion of forming a common platform without committing to political alliances, the possibility of an electoral understanding between the four parties and joining of other parties is not ruled out.
The MDMK has already started leaning towards the DMK, but the move of the Left parties offers an alternative for Vaiko and increase his bargaining capacity with the DMK, which has always treated Vaiko with scant respect during seat sharing talks.
As the Assembly elections are decided in a few thousand votes margin, the strengthening of an alternative alliance is likely to erode the strength of the DMK front and split the anti-AIADMK votes, changing the poll scenario altogether.