A day after the Lok Sabha polls schedule was announced, political battlelines in Tamil Nadu started crystallising with the Left parties deciding to go it alone and the DMDK clearly indicating that it is in the NDA camp.
After two days of marathon talks, the distraught CPI(M) and CPI declared that they would together plough a lonely furrow, while the DMDK of actor politico Vijayakant, which was playing hide and seek till now, was forced to formally announce that it has begun alliance talks with the BJP.
Similarly, the PMK, which was playing hardball with the saffron party, also announced its decision to align with the BJP, after a high-level conclave held at Thailapuram. It has formed a committee headed by party president G K Mani to hold talks with the BJP on seat-sharing. Sources said the BJP is likely to allocate 14 seats to the DMDK and eight to the PMK while sharing the rest with other allies like MDMK.
Dalit leader and VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan signed seat-sharing accord with the DMK, agreeing to contest a lone seat — Chidambaram (SC), which he currently represents in the Lok Sabha.
Though the Congress appears to be groping in the dark, rumours are rife that DMK has convinced its allies to contest on lesser number of seats to accommodate the national party in the front.
The only exception in the scenario is the AIADMK which has announced candidates for all 40 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry besides releasing the manifesto. Already, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa has embarked on a whirlwind election campaign.