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MDMK makes debut in TN assembly, wins six seats

Written by: Staff

Chennai, May 11 (UNI) Twelve years after its formation, the MDMK, headed by its firebrand leader Vaiko, today made its debut in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, winning six seats.

The party, which had struck an electoral pact with the AIADMK led by J Jayalalithaa ahead of the Assembly polls, proved that it was not a mere also ran and became a force to reckon with by winning six of the 35 seats it contested.

The MDMK won from Sivakasi, Virudhunagar, Cumbum, Vasudevanallur, Tirumangalam and Thondamuthur constituencies.

Once considered very close to DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, Mr Vaiko parted ways with his political mentor in 1993 and formed his own outfit next year.

Mr Vaiko took the first electoral plunge in association with the CPI(M) in 1996, only to drew a blank. The MDMK leader himself lost the elections contesting from Vilathikulam Assembly constituency.

The scenario was no different, when the MDMK chose to go it alone in the 2001 polls after severing ties with the DMK in the last minute.

However, the party shot into national prominence when it allied with the AIADMK and won the Lok Sabha polls in 1998 as an ally of the BJP-led NDA.

After the AIADMK pulled down the Vajpayee Government leading to midterm polls in 1999, the MDMK contested along with the DMK and BJP and won four seats and also participated in the Union Ministry.

Mr Vaiko was elected to Parliament from Sivakasi constituency.

It was during his tenure as an MP that Mr Vaiko was arrested under the now-repealed POTA by the Jayalalithaa Government in July 2002 for his speeches in support of the banned LTTE. After his nearly 19 month long incarceration, Mr Vaiko was released in February 2004.

During the realignment of political forces ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha Polls, MDMK renewed its ties with the DMK and also won all the four seats. The MDMK, however, chose to provide outside support to the Congress-led UPA Goverment at the Centre.

However, a last minute hitch in seat sharing for the 2006 Assembly polls, forced the MDMK to ink a pact with the AIADMK, enabling the party to enter the hallowed precincts of the Fort St George for the first time.


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