Actor politician Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam is set to lose its recognition as a regional party following defeats in three successive elections in Tamil Nadu. The Election Commission is expected to start the process. If it loses the regional party tag, it will also lose its drum symbol.
As per rules, to be recognized as a regional party, it should have won at least six per cent of the votes polled in the State and should have won at least one or two Lok Sabha or Assembly seats.
The DMDK has lost three successive elections in Tamil Nadu. It could not win even a single Lok Sabha or Assembly seat.
Vijayakanth who started the party in 2005 as an alternative to the two kazhagams, did well in the first election it faced in 2006, by going it alone. It got 8.38 per cent votes. It increased its vote share to 10.3 percent in 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Its decline started when Vijayakanth aligned his party with the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections. Though it polled only 7.8 per cent vote, it was able to win 29 seats, one more than the DMK, and emerge as the main opposition thanks to the alliance. He became Leader of the Opposition. The party also got recognised as a regional party.
Its decline and fall started from then on when Vijayakanth started functioning as the real opposition against being a friendly critic. Jayalalitha quickly cut him to size and split the party.
Jayalalitha swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, drubbing the DMK led front. While it could take it, Vijayakanth’s third front could not when it came a distant third with his party’s vote share plunging to mere 5.19 per cent.
It went further downhill to between two and three percent in 2016 Assembly and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Its alliance with the AIADMK-BJP front cost it dearly with the people rejecting it totally and voting in favour of the rival DMK-Congress combine.
What hastened its decline was the decline in the health of Vijayakanth. Though he was yet to recover after treatment in the US, his wife Premalatha and brother-in-law struck a hard bargain in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the AIADMK as the BJP badly wanted his party in the front with senior leader Piyush Goyal calling on Vijayakanth at his residence.
After his illness, his wife and brother in law took control of the party. That was also a reason for its rapid fall.
Once it gets a report from the State chief electoral officer, the Election Commission will start the process of derecognition of the DMDK.