Perfecting the Art of Switching Sides to Stay Afloat in Power Pool

The birth of new alliances in Tamil Nadu this election once again proves that politicians don’t hesitate to find strange bedfellows at will.

Published: 22nd March 2014 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2014 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

The birth of new alliances in Tamil Nadu this election once again proves that politicians don’t hesitate to find strange bedfellows at will. Ever since smaller regional parties began to flaunt their distinct vote banks in 1998, ideology has taken a backseat during polls.

The PMK, which consolidated its base in the Vanniyars belt in the north and north-west regions has the reputation of hopping camps almost in every election since 1998, barring the 2006 Assembly election when it remained in the DMK camp.

While in 1998, it fought the LS election in the company of the AIADMK, the very next year it hopped on to the DMK alliance. Within two years, it exited and forged ties again with the AIADMK for the 2001 Assembly election. Three years later it was back with the DMK. And all of these switches paid off, prompting its founder S Ramadoss to declare that any alliance the PMK was a constituent  of would turn out to be a winning combination.

However, in 2009, when the party joined hands with the AIADMK, its candidates were routed in all six constituencies. In 2011, the party returned to the DMK fold to face the Assembly elections, ignoring the fact that it had given zero marks to the DMK government. Now, it is in the NDA.

“It is unfair to single us out for switching alliances. Every other party has changed its alliance partners during the same period, be it the DMK, AIADMK or even the Left parties. These depend on circumstances,” a senior PMK leader said requesting anonymity.

Most alliances don’t last beyond elections unless the constituents get to share power. “Post-victory we have to give importance to our ideologies. This leads to bitterness and sometimes exit,” a leader said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp