The Lede
2019 Polls: Smaller Parties In Tamil Nadu Jump Onboard Alliance Bandwagon
2019 Polls

2019 Polls: Smaller Parties In Tamil Nadu Jump Onboard Alliance Bandwagon

Team Lede

Team Lede

With a bipolar battle in the offing in Tamil Nadu for the Lok Sabha elections, smaller parties are forced to choose amongst the larger fronts 

With the two main political fronts for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections having been firmed up in late February in Tamil Nadu, smaller political parties and caste-based outfits are rushing to secure their positions.

Dalit party Puthiya Tamizhagam (PT) led by Dr Krishnaswamy, which has a presence in southern Tamil Nadu, has firmed up an alliance with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Sources told The Lede that one seat has been promised to PT and the constituency is likely to be Tenkasi, although there is no official word on the same.

The AIADMK-led front already has in its kitty the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). An alliance announcement with Vijaykanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) is expected over the weekend after weeks of talks.

In a surprise move, the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) flipped over to the rival front after being in the NDA for the 2014 polls. Party chief Pari Vendar (TR Pachamuthu, the founder of SRM University and SRM Group) met Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin and extended support to the front. It is unclear whether the IJK will get a Lok Sabha seat to contest on.

The DMK has already tied up with the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League. Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK), a caste-based outfit largely dependent upon the OBC Gounder caste and led by ER Easwaran, is also part of the front with one seat.

A number of smaller parties in the state are in talks with both fronts to find which one is the better fit this time. Thol Thirumavalavan of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a Dalit party is waiting in the wings, as are the Left parties. Vaiko’s Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the DMK are in talks but are yet to firm up an alliance for the polls.

Take a look at how the voteshare stacked up for each of these parties in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well as the 2016 Assembly polls.

Current AIADMK front parties

Party 2014 LS Voteshare 2016 Assembly Voteshare
AIADMK 44.92% 40.77%
PMK 4.4% 5.32%
BJP 5.56% 2.84%
PT 0.6% 0.51%

            (*Source: Election Commission of India)

Current DMK front parties

Party 2014 LS Voteshare 2016 Assembly Voteshare
DMK 23.91% 31.64%
Congress 4.37% 6.42%
IUML 0.5% 0.73%
IJK Not available (contested on BJP symbol) 0.08%
KMDK Not available (contested on BJP symbol) 0.39%

            (*Source: Election Commission of India)

Other parties which are yet to join either front

Party 2014 LS Voteshare 2016 Assembly Voteshare
DMDK 5.19% 2.39%
MDMK 3.5% 0.87%
VCK 1.5% 0.77%
CPM 0.55% 0.71%
CPI 0.55% 0.79%
Naam Tamilar Katchi Did not contest 1.07%
Tamil Maanila Congress Did not contest 0.54%

            (*Source: Election Commission of India)