Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, representing the Dalit sub-caste of Pariahs who are predominant in northern Tamil Nadu and who are pitted against Vanniars who by and large support the Pattali Makkal Katchi, on Monday joined the DMK-led alliance for the coming Lok Sabha elections and was allotted two seats.
Talking to reporters after signing the agreement with DMK president M K Stalin at Anna Avivalayam, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said:” We will take a decision in a day or two on whether contest on our own symbol or on the DMK symbol. By when the constituency will also be identified”.
Thirumavalan aligned with the DMK in 2009 and won the Chidambaram Lok Sabha seat, defeating his PMK rival by a comfortable margin.
In the 2014, he was part of a third front which drew blank along with the DMK-Congress alliance which were also routed as the AIADMK under J Jayalalitha won 37of 39 seats from Tamil Nadu, leaving only Kanyakumari and Dharmapuri which were won by BJP leader and current Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss respectively. The BJP and the PMK were then in alliance with the Desiya Morpukku Dravida Kazhagam(DMDK) of actor politician Vijayakanth.
With Monday’s agreement the DMK has allotted 13 out of 39 seats from Tamil Nadu-- nine to Congress, two to VCK and one each to the Indian Union Muslim and the Kongala Vellala Makkal Katchi of E R Easwaran which has a base among Vellala Gounders in the western districts of Salem, Erode and Coimbatore.
Besides nine, the Congress has also been given the Puducherry seat which it had won in the last election. The DMK is now left with 26 seats and it has to accommodate the Marumalarchi DMK, the CPI and the CPM. It may finally be left with only 22. Therefore, it is unlikely to open the doors to Vijayakanth’s Deviya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam which is bargaining with the rival kaghagams only to get more seats from the AIADMK.
The AIADMK has given seven seats to PMK, five to the BJP and one to Dalit party Puthiya Tamizhagam, , thus leaving it with 26 in Tamil Nadu. It has given the lone Puducherry seat to N Rangasamy Congress. It is keeping the door open for the DMDK.
When the alliances take final shape, the DMK and the AIADMK may be left with around 22 seats each.