DMDK maintains suspense on alliance for LS polls

Chennai: The DMDK Friday kept the suspense alive on a possible alliance with the AIADMK for the coming Lok Sabha elections, saying it will announce its stand in another two days.

Senior Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam leader and party founder Vijayakanth's wife, Premalatha, said her party was capable of going into the polls alone and recalled that it had done so in the past. "Whether to go alone or forge an alliance for the LS polls, whether to participate in the polls and local body elections, we will make our stand official in another two days," DMDK treasurer Premalatha told reporters here. Eighteen Assembly seats fell vacant after the Madras High Court upheld the disqualification of an equal number of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLAs for revolting against Chief Minister K Palaniswami in 2017. Tiruvarur and Tirupparankundram segments await by-elections due to the death of sitting legislators former DMK chief M Karunanidhi and A K Bose of AIADMK respectively last year. Hosur, represented by former AIADMK minister P Balakrishna Reddy, was declared vacant following Reddy's resignation after a special court sentenced him to three years' rigorous imprisonment in a two-decade-old riot case. Premalatha's statement comes amidst the buzz in political circles over what the actor-politician's party will do vis-a-vis alliance, considering the AIADMK was wooing it to join the NDA coalition led by it in Tamil Nadu. The NDA constituents in the state include the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Pattali Makkal Katchi, besides some smaller outfits. Earlier, AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his colleague D Jayakumar had called on Vijayakanth, who had recently returned from the US after undergoing medical treatment. On Thursday, senior party leader LK Sutheesh had indicated that the DMDK could finalize its alliance with the AIADMK in a couple of days and referred to parleys he held on Wednesday with BJP state-in-charge Piyush Goyal. "Yesterday (Wednesday) you know we had held talks at a private hotel...we will inform in a couple of days the number of seats and segments," he had said. Premalatha also trained her guns at senior DMK leader Durai Murugan who had said the DMDK had sought accommodation in his party-led alliance, amidst the protracted delay in conclusion of the AIADMK-DMDK talks earlier. The DMDK leaders who had gone to his house had made it clear that they went on 'personal' work which was reiterated by Sutheesh on Thursday, she said and asked why Durai Murugan had spoken otherwise. "DMK has always targeted DMDK. Can Durai Murugan clarify on the unsavory remarks he had made against his party leadership with Sutheesh," she asked. To a question, she said her party would strive for the welfare of the state irrespective of the alliance that it would be in, and recalled the famous standoff between Vijayakanth, then Leader of Opposition, and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the state assembly once, despite being allies. The DMDK founder had then spoken in the interest of the people, she said referring to the incident that turned out to be a flashpoint and led to the two parties later parting ways. 

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