On V-day, Parties Try to Attract Vijayakant

DMDK leader meets Manmohan; MK hints at willingness to take captain’s party on board; options still open for tie-up, says BJP.

Published: 15th February 2014 07:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2014 07:53 AM   |  A+A-


Valentine’s Day and courtship are linked not just for teens and romantics, but also for politicians. Or so it would seem.

Three different parties sitting in different corners of the country on brazenly courted the DMDK for an alliance in the coming Lok Sabha polls even as its leader Vijayakant led a delegation of his party’s top brass and MLAs to a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Meanwhile, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, in Tiruchy, once again held his arms wide open in invitation to the DMDK, even as the BJP continued its bid to get the DMDK’s support.

At a time when all the major parties have formed their own fronts for the Lok Sabha polls, the DMDK’s vote share of about 8 per cent could help any alliance convert contests into victories, making the party a somewhat desirable ally.

Vijayakant has kept everyone guessing on which way he would bend in terms of his alliance. Except for the AIADMK, he has dallied with every other front in Tamil Nadu. The Congress had been an outlier in the competition for the DMDK’s support, but that turned around after Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan paid Vijayakant a visit on New Year’s Eve. This is why the timing of Vijayakant’s appointment with the Prime Minister gains significance.

Vijayakant was accompanied by his wife Premalatha, brother-in-law L K Sudhish and 20 MLAs of the party. They handed a petition to the Prime Minister urging action on a number of issues concerning Tamil Nadu. No senior Congress leaders were present at the meeting.

Karunanidhi, meanwhile, indirectly re-expressed his willingness to work out a possible tie-up with Vijayakant. He said the DMK is open to allying with anyone who had the interests of the people of Tamil Nadu at heart, and that Vijayakant is no exception to this. He, however, stopped short of issuing a straightforward invitation to Vijayakant, given the view in his party that as the junior partner in the possible alliance, the DMDK should make the first move.

Karunanidhi’s indirect invitation to the DMDK also seemed at odds with his comments a day earlier — that the DMK’s alliance has been finalised and that no other parties would join it.

The BJP too was keyed in to the developments. Sources indicated that Vijayakant could meet BJP president Rajnath Singh during this Delhi trip. “The show has not started yet. So, why should we close the door?” asked a senior member in the State unit of the BJP.

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