Debating India


A multi-cornered contest likely

Thursday 23 March 2006, by DORAIRAJ*S.

Major parties, barring the BJP, to array in two rival formations

Outfits of actors Vijaykant and Karthik to face polls independently The DMK rules out possibility of allowing more parties into the alliance DMK front may stake claim for northern belt, AIADMK alliance for south Both the AIADMK and the DMK keen to avoid disaffection in seat sharing

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu appears all set to witness a multi-cornered contest in the May 8 Assembly elections with major political parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, deciding to array themselves in two rival formations and film stars Vijaykant and Karthik making it clear that their parties will face the polls independently.

Public debate

The Dalit-based Puthiya Thamizhagam also appears to have chosen to plough a lonely furrow. Public debate has already begun on the possible impact of a multi-cornered fight on the performance of different alliances and parties in the Assembly election, which is crucial for the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

However, it is too early to predict the advantage or disadvantage, that too in the absence of any wave, as the parties have a long way to go before launching the election campaign, point out analysts.

Lack of space?

According to sources in the AIADMK and DMK, the scenario was a result of perceived lack of space in the two camps to accommodate more allies.

The DMK has already ruled out the possibility of allowing more parties.

It is still not known if the AIADMK will allot a few seats for the Tamil Nadu Indira Congress led by Tindivanam Ramamurthy and the All India Lakshiya Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam headed by film actor Vijaya T. Rajendhar.

List of constituencies

The sources say the consolidated final list of constituencies earmarked for their allies will be released in a couple of days.

Pre-poll exercise

Both the camps seem to have realised that they cannot prolong the first phase of the pre-poll exercise - seat sharing - any longer. They have to take up selection of candidates and get on with the campaign by April 1.

Cause for delay

The delay in identification of constituencies has been attributed to constituents staking claim for the same seats.

Prestige issue

This problem may be in the northern belt for the DMK front and in the south for the AIADMK alliance. Seats in Chennai have also become a prestige issue.

Committees formed

In view of the sensitive nature of this process, the DMK and the AIADMK have set up committees to negotiate with the allies and devote adequate time to convince the constituents.

They are keen to avoid any disaffection, which may reflect on the combine’s electoral prospects.

See online : The Hindu

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