Vijaykant seals poll deal with Vaiko, Left, Dalit party

Chennai, March 23: Actor-turned-politician A. Vijaykant on Wednesday, March 23 announced that his DMDK will contest the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in alliance with Vaiko's MDMK, the Left and Dalit party VCK.

The new alliance said Vijaykant, popularly known as "Captain" and who even the BJP was wooing, would be the chief ministerial candidate of the People's Welfare Front (PWF).


The announcement makes the PWF, which until now was made up of the MDMK, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist and the VCK, a major force in the May electoral battle.

While the DMDK will put up candidates in 124 seats, the remaining 110 seats will be contested by the MDMK and the other three parties.

"This is the alliance the people were looking for," Vaiko, coordinator of PWF, told the media.

"The election (in Tamil Nadu) will now be like a Kurukshetra war," said one of the leaders in the alliance.

Referring to DMDK supporters' demand that Vijaykant should be the king and not a kingmaker, Vaiko said the leaders of PWF would be the kingmakers who would make Vijaykant the 'king' (chief minister).

According to the alliance, there will be a coalition government in Tamil Nadu if the front wins the elections.

Vijaykant said he had gone to PWF as it was a "people's party".

"My cadres wanted me to be the king. All the alliance partners have asked me to be the chief ministerial candidate," he said.

Vijaykant had floated his party as an alternative to the two Dravidian parties - AIADMK and DMK. But in the last elections, he joined forces with the AIADMK and others to oust the DMK from power.

However, soon after, the relationship between the AIADMK and the DMDK soured. Eight DMDK legislators turned rebels and supported the ruling AIADMK.

On Wednesday, Vaiko said a revolution took place in Tamil Nadu on March 6, 1967 when DMK founder C.N. Annadurai became the chief minister after defeating the Congress.

"Similarly, a day will come when Vijaykant will be the chief minister," he added.

CPI-M leader G. Ramakrishnan and CPI leader R. Mutharasan said March 23 would be a golden day in the state's politics.

After being wooed by the DMK, BJP and PWF, Vijaykant chose the PWF, said VCK leader Thirumalavan.

Vijaykant was actively pursued by the DMK, which has tied up with the Congress. Its leader M. Karunanidhi had publicly expressed the hope that the DMDK would join the DMK-led alliance.

The BJP too actively wooed the DMDK. But the DMDK was miffed that while BJP national leaders met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa when they came to Chennai, they ignored Vijaykant.

Reacting to the development, BJP leader and union minister Pon Radhakrishnan termed the DMDK-MDMK-VCK-Left alliance as "anti-people".

DMK leader M.K. Stalin made light of the DMDK move. "This is not going to affect us," he said.

The ruling AIADMK will now face multiple contests in virtually all the 234 constituencies. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the PMK are contesting the elections separately.


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