CHENNAI: The DMK is banking on a likely poll boycott of the DMDK and direct or indirect support of the Congress and Left parties in the February 13 Srirangam bypoll.
TNCC leader EVKS Elangovan told reporters that his party was still discussing whether to contest the bypoll or support any other party. To a specific question on the Congress supporting the DMK, Elangovan said the party had not been approached so far and he could respond only if that happened.
This stance provides hope for the DMK which is expecting to garner the support of its former ally which polled about 5 per cent in the Srirangam Assembly segment during the 2014 Parliament elections. Earlier, it had secured about 27 per cent votes. The DMK, in alliance with the Congress, had got over 35 per cent votes in the 2011 Assembly elections.
The Left parties, which are shy of alinging with the DMK, had not come out with any announcement on the Srirangam bypoll. The CPM had polled about one per cent votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the DMK hopes to gain even if the Left boycotted the byelection.
Due to the confusion in the BJP alliance, the DMDK had delayed a decision on jumping into the fray. As time is running out for candidate selection and commencement of poll works, DMDK’s entry into the contest looks doubtful. A poll boycott by the DMDK could be converted into an indirect support for the DMK, as the Captain’s brigade is more keen on opposing the AIADMK even if it meant strengthening the DMK’s hands. However, while the functionaries could work against the AIADMK, the preference of the DMDK voters could go either way.
The TMC has already announced a poll boycott and the MDMK too had not shown any inclination to field a candidate. However, the DMK could not be optimistic of garnering votes of these two parties which too could be split. The support of the PMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi could be just symbolic as they have a negligible presence in the island town and elsewhere in the constituency.