The decision by DMDK chief Vijaykanth to join the People's Welfare Front (PWF) for the May 16 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu has surprised quite a few observers and the common feeling is that this alliance will hurt both the DMK and BJP in the polls.
The BJP will be ruing the lost opportunity to get Vijaykanth on its board and throw a challenge to both the DMK-Congress alliance and the AIADMK. The saffron party, which had been trying to woo Vijaykanth for long but ultimately could not see a deal through, will not be able to join the PWF since it comprises Left parties.
The saffron party will in fact see itself outside the three-cornered contest that the state is witnessing after a long time. The BJP's only hope now rests with Jayalalithaa and the PMK. But will the AIADMK chief accommodate the saffron party ahead of the election? In case of the PMK, its decision to project former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss as the CM candidate will also make it difficult for the BJP to fit itself in the scheme of things.
For the DMK-Congress alliance, Vijaykanth's decision will leave Karunanidihi disappointed as the latter would have loved to have Captain in his ranks to consolidate the anti-AIADMK front. The DMK did not join the BJP fearing that such a tie-up could help its opponents gain by playing the secular card and hoped to forge a big alliance to wrest the power back from the AIADMK in the upcoming elections.
But that now looks not an easy task to accomplish.
Here are some possible outcomes of the latest alliance in Tamil Nadu:
AIADMK gaining/ DMK losing:
The PWF-DMDK alliance will see the anti-AIADMK votes getting split as more forces have joined the fray. But it will also see the DMK not gaining much of the anti-AIADMK votes because of the new alliance.
AIADMK not gaining because of PWF's credibility factor:
Another section of experts feels the AIADMK might not win much since the PWF itself will fail to convince the voters about its credibility by joining hands with the DMDK. Some said the PWF's claim of presenting the people of Tamil Nadu a third alternative apart from the AIADMK and DMK could be diluted by forming an alliance with "opprtunist" and "unscruplous" forces. The fact that DMDK was with the 'communal' BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha election and Jayalalithaa's AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections can spoil the PWF's image as a third alternative in Tamil Nadu.
DMK alliance doing good:
If one goes by the results of the 2006 and 2011 Assembly elections and the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the southern state, it can be seen that the DMK-Congress alliance has a decent vote-share. They had 35 per cent share in 2006, 42 per cent in 2009, 32 per cent in 2011 and 32 per cent in the 2014 general elections.
Except in 2014, these figures suggest that the DMK-Congress alliance will not be a force to be written off easily. If the PWF-DMDK alliance fails to deliver, then the DMK-Congress alliance could be best placed to challenge the ruling party. The PWF-DMDK will have a number of problems at the grassroots as there will be voices against making an alliance with Vaiko and not Karunanidhi.
PWF-DMDK alliance emerging as a king-maker
If the vote-share of the latest alliance between the PWF and DMDK maintains the trend of the previous elections---Assembly or national---then there is every chance of it making an impact on the next election results. The PWF's decision to project Vijaykanth as its chief ministerial candidate and also giving more than half of the seats to the DMDK is a positive step from the third front.