Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vijayakant's DMDK joins AIADMK fold

Chennai, March 4  Tamil Nadu's major opposition party AIADMK and the DMDK, led by actor turned politician Vijayakant, Friday reached an electoral agreement, with the latter getting 41 seats for the April 13 polls to the 234-member assembly.
Vijayakant met AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa Friday night at her Poes Garden residence here and formalised the agreement.

The meeting lasted around 15 minutes.

When contacted, DMDK presidium chairman Panruti S. Ramachandran declined to comment on the deal.
'The AIADMK would issue a formal press statement,' he told .

The formal talks between the two parties began Feb 24, Jayalalithaa's 63rd birthday.

Formed in 2005, the DMDK has been fighting elections on its own, spoiling the chances of the AIADMK in the 2006 assembly elections and performing well, albiet without any seats, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2006 assembly elections the DMDK spoilt AIADMK's chances in around 80 constituencies. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls DMDK's performance was good in 135 assembly segments, getting a vote share larger than the difference between the winner and the runner-up.

Ramachandran had earlier said that his party is not based on caste, creed or religion.

'Our base is youth. We represent the youth. As per our estimation we will get around 15 percent vote share if we stand alone.'

According to him, on its own, his party got an eight percent vote share in the 2006 and 10.5 percent in 2009.

'In normal course, we would get around 15 percent in the coming elections. But with the alliance, the vote share is expected to shoot up and not otherwise. Further the youth is with us,' a confident Ramachandran said.

He also discounted the theory that the party would lose its identity and become like several other small parties forced to align with DMK or AIADMK.

The AIADMK, which has held talks with the two communist parties and long-time ally MDMK, has till date reached agreement for eight seats with five parties, allotting two to the Puthiya Tamizhagham, three to the MNMK and one each to the Republican Party of India, the All India Forward Bloc and the AIMMK.

Meanwhile, it is learnt Congress general secretary for Tamil Nadu affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to visit Chennai in a day or two to formalise the pact with the ruling DMK.

On Thursday, the DMK and the Congress were said to have struck a deal, with the ruling party agreeing to give 60 seats to Congress in the contest for the 234-member house.

AIADMK-led front has advantage over DMK alliance: Survey

New Delhi: An election survey conducted by Outlook weekly has said that the AIADMK-led front has an advantage over ruling DMK-led alliance in the coming Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

Fifty-four per cent of the respondents of the survey felt that the AIADMK alliance will be voted to power while only 34 per cent gave their approval for a DMK-led formation, the weekly said in a release. 
The poll also showed that 86.1 percent of the respondents were of the view that corruption like the 2G spectrum scam had damaged Tamil Nadu's reputation. 

"The spectrum scam and price rise are twin factors that have hit the image of the ruling DMK front. A majority (71.9 per cent) felt that corruption charges will adversely affect the prospects of the DMK alliance," the survey said. 

72.5 per cent thought price rise will be the key issue in the elections, it said. 

According to the survey, 78.1 per cent of those surveyed thought that Karunanidhi family and the DMK have been tainted by the 2G scam while 73 per cent believed in the allegation that the DMK patriarch's family benefited from the scam. 

"In contrast, 37.9 per cent of those polled felt AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa was cleaner and less corrupt than Karunanidhi who got only 18.8 per cent support on this count," the survey said. 

A majority of 60.1 per cent thought it "inadvisable" for the Congress to ally with DMK. 

The Outlook-MDRA poll was conducted in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem and Trichy between February 26 and 28 and 626 people were surveyed.